If you have a job that sometimes requires you to work outdoors, you will have to meet the requirements of your employment in different types of weather conditions. From working during the high temperatures of the summer months to the potentially freezing temperatures during the winter, it is important to know how to stay as safe as possible. It is the responsibility of your employer to provide you with what you need to do your job safely and effectively.
Working in extreme temperatures comes with certain physical risks. If you become ill as a result of your job requirements, or you experience the worsening of an existing medical condition after doing your job, there are legal options available to you. You may be able to seek benefits and support through a workers’ compensation claim.
The risk of working outdoors
The winter months in North Carolina can be quite frigid, and in addition to the discomfort that comes with being cold, you may also experience additional repercussions from working in extreme temperatures. During the winter months, outdoor workers may be at risk for any of the following medical issues:
- Muscle strain, fractures and sprains — In the winter months, icy surfaces can make it difficult to walk safely, and a worker may slip, fall and suffer different types of injuries as a result.
- Cold stress injuries — These are conditions that can develop after exposure to extreme temperatures, including hypothermia, trench foot and frostbite. While treatable, they can cause permanent damage.
- Driving in winter weather — Driving during the winter months can be risky due to icy roads and slippery surfaces. Poor visibility may also be a factor if it is snowing while someone is driving.
Work-related injuries and illnesses are grounds for a workers’ compensation claim. If your work requires you to be outdoors, you deserve to have the appropriate safety gear to do your job safely. Additionally, employers should consider implementing strategies that will keep workers out of the elements as much as possible.
What benefits could you claim?
The specific benefits you can pursue through your workers’ compensation claim depend on the details of your individual situation. You may be eligible for recovery of your medical bills, coverage of lost wages, rehabilitation support and much more. If you are suffering from a cold-related injury or illness as a result of your job, you will benefit from learning more about the options available to you.