Is There a Higher Risk for Workplace Accidents During the Winter?

As Michigan workers know, the winter months can make certain parts of life more complicated. From driving in the snow to exposure to the cold, employees can face an elevated risk for accidents and injuries at this time of year. You may find it beneficial to learn more about winter hazards, your employer’s responsibilities and ways to protect your interests in the event of a work-related accident.

Employees have the right to a reasonable expectation of safety, even if they work outside or in hazardous conditions. This means it is the employer’s responsibility to remove unnecessary hazards, provide adequate safety training and provide the equipment necessary to avoid injuries. During the winter months, it is especially important to be cautious and vigilant.

At risk due to seasonal threats? 

Working in the cold can be a significant safety concern, especially for those whose jobs require them to be outside most of the time. However, driving in the snow for work, using snow blowers and other winter-related tasks can also place employees at risk. Consider the following information about winter-related tasks and tips on how employees can stay safe while doing their jobs:

  • Driving in winter-weather conditions: Employees should undergo proper training to drive safely in hazardous conditions, and vehicles should receive regular maintenance.
  • Preventing slip-and-fall accidents: Employers should clear pathways and walkways of ice as quickly as possible to ensure employees are safe.
  • Being safe while shoveling snow or clearing ice: If employees need to clear ice in order to do their jobs or shovel snow, they should be able to take regular breaks and have access to water. 

These are just a few things to note regarding your safety and well-being during the winter months. Of course, this is not a complete list of potential hazards, and it may be helpful to discuss any of your specific safety concerns with your employer. 

Your rights after an injury

If you suffered an injury while working in the snow, you may be unsure of where to turn or what you can do to get back on your feet. It is likely that you have grounds to seek benefits and support through a workers’ compensation claim. It will be beneficial to learn more about this option by seeking an evaluation of your case as soon as possible after an accident. 

The workers’ compensation insurance claims process can be complex and frustrating, but you have the right to secure legal guidance as you strive to secure what you need for a full recovery.