Winter Workers and Keeping Them Safe

worker at work

Winter can affect hundreds of thousands of workers in our area. Under OSHA, each employer is responsible for providing a safe work environment for their employees and must protect workers from winter storms and hazardous weather conditions.

OSHA issued more than 2,500 citations from October 2012 through September 2013. Some citations occur because manufacturers miss hazards caused by the change in seasons, with winter being especially problematic.

Driving During Delivery and Pickups

Many manufacturers make regular pickups and drop offs in hazardous conditions in the winter. The company-owned vehicles must be equipped with the proper safety equipment for weather conditions. Vehicles should have snow tires with adequate tread. The vehicles must be inspected and windshield wiper blades must be replaced regularly. Fluid levels in company vehicles need to be checked weekly and always before and after a storm.

Icy parking Lots and Walkways

Employers are responsible for the clearance of parking lots and walkways. Maintenance crews should be directed to clear away ice and snow as it comes down to keep employees safe. Salt and sand should be placed down immediately.

Slick Floors: Slip and Falls

Employees can track in snow and ice into the building which can pose as slip and fall hazards in the workplace. Employers should have maintenance place slippery floor signs on all floors and have absorbent mats at doorways for employers to wipe their shoes on.

Loading Docks

Loading and shipping docks are typically open to the weather for a good portion of the day. Metal gates and outside steps can get wet and slippery easily, especially on busy days or after storms when snow and ice may melt and refreeze frequently. Provide nonslip mats wherever it’s feasible and make sure employees wear sturdy shoes to prevent falls.

Electrical Shocks

Melting snow from shoes and boots create standing pools of water that can be a shock hazard for improperly grounded equipment or for employees plugging in hand tools, lights, space heaters, or other devices. Make sure that your maintenance team is on the lookout for standing water and educate employees about the hazards of electricity and water.

 

If you’ve been injured on the job, contact our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys for a free consultation today.

For more information, visit the OH&S website.

 

Dear friends and clients,

In furtherance of our firms culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can. 

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP