September 3, 2019

How Does Weather Impact NY Construction Site Safety?

By Jonathan Damashek

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The days are getting shorter around New York City, which means one thing for workers in the construction industry. Winter is on the way, bringing chillier temperatures, wind, and the increased potential for severe weather. You know how a spring or summer storm can make the job site treacherous, but conditions deteriorate even more when precipitation comes in frozen form. Plus, there are other weather hazards that increase the likelihood of workplace accidents. As you see the skies darken, the mercury drop, and the fog roll in, you’re probably wondering: “How does weather impact NY construction site safety?”

Our team at Hecht, Kleeger & Damasheck, P.C. can’t do much about the weather, but we can assist you with the legal process if you’re hurt on the job. Our lawyers have a proven track record in helping injured employees navigate the process. We’ll fight to obtain all monetary benefits available to you, providing essential financial support during this difficult time. Please contact our office today to set up a no-cost case evaluation with a New York construction accidents attorney. Call us today at 212-490-5700 or use our online contact form.

Weather Conditions That Put Construction Workers at Risk

Mother Nature is a powerful force and, to a certain extent, unpredictable. On a construction site, weather can lead to considerable problems with equipment and delays, even when project managers try to take all contingencies into account. Regardless of training and compliance with safety regulations, the threat of accidents and injuries remains in the presence of:

Rain: Wet surfaces are slippery, potentially leading you lose traction as you’re moving around the construction site. Objects and equipment can also be slick and difficult to hold steadily, potentially resulting in a falling objects accident.

Snow: Many of the same safety risks exist as compared to rain, but snow also presents additional threats. A blanket of snow can hide dangerous objects, leading to a slip, trip, or fall.

Wind: The biggest risk with strong winds affects employees who are working at a height, especially on cranes, scaffolding, and ladders. You could be blown by a gust and fall if protective gear, a harness, or railings aren’t installed in accordance with safety regulations. Plus, wind can throw up dust to create irritation and visibility issues.

Temperature: Extremely cold temperatures put workers at risk of hypothermia and frostbite, particularly in the fingers and toes. Though summer is many months off, heat and humidity can also be an issue. Heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and dehydration are severe medical conditions that require immediate medical care.

Lightning: Various forms of conductive metals are present on a construction site, in equipment, vehicles, materials, tools, and much more. A lightning strike upon a person can cause life-threatening or fatal injuries, and can result in fires or explosions when the blast hits equipment.

Fog: Primarily a visibility issue, fog can be extremely dangerous for all workers present on the construction site. Drivers of vehicles, operators of heavy equipment, and crews working in tandem are at risk of serious injuries to themselves and others when they can’t see.

What To Do If You’re Injured in a Weather-Related Construction Accident

Eligible construction employees who get hurt in workplace accidents may have rights under New York workers’ compensation laws, whether the injuries are due to weather or any other reason. You may be able to obtain monetary benefits for your medical costs, lost wages, and other losses if you qualify. Your rights are linked to completing certain tasks in the aftermath of a work-related accident, including:

  1. Get necessary medical care from an approved health care provider, unless the situation is an emergency;
  2. Notify your employer about your injuries within 30 days after the accident;
  3. Complete an Employee Claim Form C-3 and submit it to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board;
  4. Document everything about the accident, your injuries, and your experiences as you’re recovering; and,
  5. Retain a workplace injury attorney, who can help with the above tasks and many more.

Count on a New York Construction Accidents Lawyer for Legal Help

When you realize how weather impacts NY construction site safety, you can understand why accidents are common during the colder months. However, you may have rights any time of year if you’re injured on-the-job. To learn more about your remedies under New York’s workers’ comp system and other laws, please contact Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. We represent injured employees in New York City, Long Island, and throughout the region in all types of work-related accidents. Call us today at 212-490-5700 or use our online contact form.