Winter weather can bring dangerous working conditions that lead to devastating, and sometimes fatal, consequences. Many workers in fields such as construction, emergency response and public services are consistently exposed to dangerous winter conditions. Even those workers who have limited exposure to outdoors in their job face increased risks from slips and falls.
With construction sites, those exposed to the weather may contain dangers such as the presence of snow and ice in areas where workers are required to walk and work. During winter months when the weather has made working conditions more dangerous, those who are responsible for workplace safety must take extra precautions in order to keep the workplace safe for the benefit of the workers.
On a construction site, a general contractor should inspect the site for dangerous conditions before construction workers arrive and begin each work each day. If this is not done as required, the general contractor may be civilly liable for any harm that is caused to a construction worker on site who had been injured to a dangerous condition that should have been recognized and made safe by the general contractor.
Other employers also have a responsibility to keep their work places safe. In the winter, this means ensuring that ice, snow and water are promptly removed from the businesses sidewalks, walkways and entry ways. Even overhead ice and snow buildup on eaves, ledges and canopies should be removed to prevent them falling onto individuals below.
Any worker who has been injured at work is entitled to worker’s compensation benefits and may also receive additional compensation if someone other than their employer (such as a general contractor or another trade contractor) has negligently caused their injury.
A person or company who may be responsible for paying a claim will be quick to blame anyone other than themselves for the accident, such as mother nature or even the injured worker themselves. For this reason, it is important to contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible after a workplace injury occurs.
Chances are, the injured worker will be receiving calls (that may be recorded) by claims adjusters and investigators who are working on behalf of an insurance company who is looking to develop any evidence possible to deny or shift blame elsewhere. For a free consultation regarding any workplace please contact LDM&M Law.