Minnesota has some of the most severe winters in the country, and with that comes dangerous weather, such as snow, freezing rain, frigid temperatures and slippery ice. When workers are exposed to these serious conditions, they can suffer catastrophic injuries.
Commuting, slips, and falls
Studies have shown that winter weather puts people who drive to work during typical commuting hours at a higher risk of being in a car accident, which could easily land an individual on an operating table. Similarly, employees coming in and out of the office can easily slip and fall during the winter months, significantly if the sidewalks and parking lots are covered in snow and ice. From a minor bruise to a Traumatic Brain Injury, a slip and fall can cause great harm.
People whose job requires outdoor work are at substantial risk for workplace injuries if they do not have the appropriate clothing and equipment to protect their bodies from harsh temperatures and from slipping on the ground. Employers must ensure that the employees can withstand the low temperatures, which otherwise could easily lead to a variety of severe medical conditions, including frostbite, hypothermia, and other conditions that can be life-threatening.
Winter can be hard on work equipment too. Not only can harsh weather alter the functionality of the machinery, but it can also lead to employee accidents and land people on the operating table with serious injuries. Employers are responsible for ensuring that their equipment works as it should during all seasons.