Outdoor workers in Pennsylvania generally have experience with snowy and cold conditions. Nevertheless, OSHA is warning workers and employers alike to take precautions when engaging in snow removal or other outdoor winter work. Those who are involved in snow removal cleanup may face dangers such as falling from rooftops or slipping on icy roads or sidewalks. Roof collapses or collisions with vehicles may also be risks that workers face while removing snow.
Working in the cold itself can be hazardous for those who must be outdoors for long periods of time. In some cases, workers may experience mild symptoms such as shivering. However, more severe issues like slurred speech or a major lack of alertness might occur. It is also possible for the heart rate to slow or for a person to lose consciousness. Furthermore, frostbite can occur if skin is exposed to cold conditions for a prolonged period of time.
Those who must perform tasks outdoors may experience a variety of injuries or illnesses. If a worker is harmed because of prolonged exposure to the cold, he or she may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The same may also be true for those who slip and fall on an icy surface. An attorney could be helpful for those who are looking to obtain such benefits.
For instance, legal counsel can work with injured employees who feel that an insurance company isn’t working in good faith to approve a benefit claim. An attorney may also help a client fill out an application for benefits or help with the appeals process if a claim is denied. If approved, injured workers could obtain a portion of their salary while out of work. They might also be entitled to payment of medical expenses.