Staten Island and the rest of New York City typically won’t see as many outdoor construction projects in the winter as in the summer. However, construction is a year-round occupation.
Outdoor projects in the winter can present some additional dangers beyond the usual risks faced by construction workers and passers-by. Let’s take a look at some of those.
Serious medical conditions caused by exposure to cold
New York winter weather can be just as hazardous to outdoor workers as the summer heat. Potentially dangerous cold-related illnesses include:
- Frostbite: This can cause permanent damage to tissues and can sometimes require amputation of the affected body part.
- Hypothermia: This is when the body’s internal temperature falls. It can affect brain function.
- Trench foot: This can result from stepping or standing in cold water if a person isn’t able to change their shoes and socks. It can lead to gangrene.
- Chilblains: This is an inflammation of the small blood vessels that can permanently damage them.
Everyone on a construction site should be trained in how to recognize the symptoms of these conditions so that they can spot them in themselves or others.
Snow and ice can make increase the risk of some injuries
Falls are always a risk on a construction site. When workers are walking on wet, surfaces, it’s only too easy to slip and fall. Indoor floors can also be slippery from tracked-in ice and snow. Pedestrians passing a construction site can also easily get hurt. If water leaks from a hose, for example, it can spread to the street where people have to walk. They can end up falling and getting hurt on a patch of ice that shouldn’t be there.
Winter can also bring a greater danger of injuries from construction vehicles like cranes that have to maneuver on icy, snowy roads, driveways, parking lots and walkways. Other equipment, too, can malfunction in cold weather, especially when it’s poorly maintained.
The people and entities in charge of a construction site have an obligation to do everything within their power to keep people safe. If you or a loved one became injured or ill because of a failure to maintain safe and healthy conditions, it’s crucial to explore your legal options for seeking the compensation you need and deserve.