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What you can do to avoid winter workplace injuries

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

You expect your place of work to be safe. Yet, many workers’ compensation claims are filed each year in New Hampshire by workers who are hurt on the job. Some of these incidences are caused by unpreventable dangers, while others are the result of employer negligence. Regardless, if you’re hurt on the job, you need to know how to protect your interests so that you have the financial resources needed to fund your recovery and get back to work.

But what kind of workplace injuries could you face this time of year? That’s a good question, and one that many New Hampshire residents may be asking themselves. Construction workers, maintenance workers, snowplow drivers, emergency response personnel, and utility workers can all be especially susceptible to wintertime workplace injuries.

What work-related injuries are common in winter?

Working in the winter can be extremely dangerous. What starts as a routine day at work could wind up changing your life forever. Here are some incidents that you could face during this time of year:

  • Slipping and falling on icy and snowy sidewalks and stairs.
  • Being hit by snow and ice falling off a building.
  • Being involved in a work-related car accident due to inclement weather.
  • Suffering a back injury while shoveling snow.
  • Getting your hand caught in a running a snow blower.
  • Suffering frostbite or hypothermia from being in the cold too long.

Depending on how your workplace accident plays out, you could suffer anything from a slipped disc to broken bones, lacerations, and even amputation. These injuries can knock you out of work for a significant period of time and leave you wondering how you’re going to make ends meet.

How can you prevent winter workplace injuries?

Although you can never eliminate the risk of being injured on the job, there are steps you can take to reduce the dangers you face. This includes:

  • Wearing the right footwear to keep your toes warm and protect yourself from slipping.
  • Winterizing the vehicle that you use for work purposes.
  • Knowing the signs of frostbite.
  • Lifting with your legs when shoveling snow or lifting heavy items.
  • Being cognizant of the symptoms of hypothermia.

While even these small steps can help you stay safe at work, think through what else you can do to reduce the risks that you face in your workplace.

What if you’ve already been injured in a winter workplace accident?

If you’ve been injured on the job, then you should consider pursuing workers’ compensation benefits. If you’re successful on a workers’ compensation claim, then you can recover the financial resources you need to pay for your recovery and ensure you have financial stability until you can get back to work.

There are several errors that can be made when pursuing workers’ compensation benefits, though, so be aware of what successfully navigating the process requires so that you don’t inadvertently jeopardize your own case.

Know how to protect your interests throughout the workers’ compensation process

A mishandled workers’ compensation claim can put you in a difficult position. Therefore, be diligent in building your workers’ compensation case. To do so, read up on the law and think through how it applies to your set of circumstances. Gather evidence to support your claim, and think through your case’s weaknesses so that you can figure out how to mitigate them.

Although it might seem overwhelming, by thinking through you claim early on, you can maximize your chances of winning your case. Hopefully then you can reclaim your health, your work, and your normal pre-accident life.