With winter on the way, outdoor workers need to be careful

As one of our Pennsylvania readers, you know that the fall months will eventually bring cold temperatures. And of course, once the winter season rolls around, there is no sign of warmer weather until spring.

If you work outdoors, it's imperative that you know how to keep yourself safe when the temperatures dip.

Here are some of the many safety tips you can follow:

  • Know the expected temperature and conditions before you start your workday, as this will allow you to prepare accordingly
  • Wear the appropriate safety gear, such as gloves, a heavy jacket, wool socks and anything else that can keep you warm
  • Keep your feet warm and dry at all times
  • Do your best to schedule your outdoor work for the warmest part of the day
  • Avoid fatigue if possible, as your body needs energy to stay warm
  • Work with at least one other person so that he or she can watch for danger signs
  • Drink warm beverages, such as coffee, throughout the day
  • Don't ignore the warning signs of a cold-related injury, such as frostbite
  • Take regular breaks indoors to ensure that you don't spend too many consecutive hours in the cold

If you work outdoors, there is no way to avoid feeling cold during the winter months. Even if you are bundled up, you know that there will be times when you are uncomfortable. Just remember this: There is a difference between being uncomfortable and unsafe.

If you suffer any type of work-related injury, such as one that is a direct result of inclement weather, you should receive immediate medical attention.

Once you know your injuries and have a clear idea of what's to come with respect to your treatment and recovery, you can then turn your attention to your legal rights. This could lead you to file a workers' compensation claim.

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