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Cold Stress and Outdoor Workers

by Dixon Law Office

Brrrrr…cold weather in Chicago has officially arrived. If you work outdoors, cold conditions have an even greater impact on you and your health. Snow cleanup crews, sanitation workers, police officers and firefighters are just some of the many workers who often have to brave the snow, cold and ice for extended periods.

Cold stress occurs when a worker’s skin temperature and then internal body temperature is driven down, which can lead to serious health problems, including tissue damage and even death, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Although OSHA does not have a specific standard that covers working in cold environments, employers have a responsibility to provide workers with employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards, including cold stress. Employers should train workers on the hazards of the job and safety measures to reduce the risk of cold stress, such as personal protective equipment, engineering controls (like radiant heaters and shields for drafts and wind) and safe work practices (like staying hydrated and doing heavy work during the warmer part of the day). Workers also should be allowed frequent breaks in warm areas. Finally, protocols should be shared as to how to dress properly for the cold.

If you work outdoors and feel you have suffered cold stress or any other injury, you should talk with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney. At Dixon Law Office, we have helped many injury victims get the compensation they deserve, and we can help you, too. Contact us today at 888/354-9880 or click here to set up a free consultation. When everything goes wrong, we make it right.

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