The Pitfalls of Working Outside in Winter
When working outside in winter, there can be any number of potential hazards that can risk your health and wellbeing.
From biting cold to tricky conditions, a whole host of additional factors must be considered along with the usual health and safety requirements.
Winter hazards for outside workers
When working outside in winter, the main difficulties are a result of the weather, with plunging temperatures and icy conditions making for potentially tricky working environments.
There is an understandable risk of slipping, with colder temperatures also making movement a little trickier, both in terms of keeping balance and in general mobility; when it gets really cold you may become clumsier in your actions. This may result in a higher risk of accident and injury.
If you have suffered an injury while working outside, and it wasn’t your fault, contact our team today to find out how they can help you claim for personal injury compensation. Alternatively, take a look at our dedicated information pages for the more likely injuries sustained in winter weather, including slips and trips, and request a callback via our website today.
Potentially dangerous outside workplaces
Millions of UK residents have external worksites, bustling in nature and not halting activity unless severely inclement weather strikes.
This means working in potentially dangerous outdoor conditions, particularly when the weather, in winter, turns surfaces icy and difficult to navigate.
Construction sites are just one of these areas where slippery surfaces make climbing and reaching heights potentially more hazardous than usual.
Farming too, a near exclusively outdoor profession, is also be impacted by adverse weather conditions, making work trickier.
What should employers be doing to keep staff safe?
Your employer is required, by law, to conduct relevant and detailed risk assessments of the work environment.
Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the minimum an employer must do is:
- Identify what could cause injury or illness in your business (hazards)
- Decide how likely it is that someone could be harmed and how seriously (the risk)
- Take action to eliminate the hazard, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk.
More specifically, relating to cold outdoor temperatures and working, the Health and Safety Executive calls for employers to:
- Ensure the personal protective equipment issued is appropriate
- Provide mobile facilities for warming up, and encourage the drinking of warm fluids such as soup or hot drinks
- Introduce more frequent rest breaks
- Consider delaying the work – can it be undertaken at warmer times of the year without compromising safety?
- Educate workers about recognising the early symptoms of cold stress.
What should you do after an accident when working outdoors in winter weather?
Following an accident, depending on the nature of the accident, you could be entitled to compensation for the injuries sustained.
Providing the incident and injuries sustained were a result of negligence on the part of an employer or organisation, your circumstances could see you eligible to make a claim.
Although doing this may seem daunting, particularly if against your own employer, the law provides reassurance in the latter instance as you cannot be dismissed from your job for making a claim.
To discuss your circumstances with an experienced team of legal professionals, call Winns today and find out how we can help.
Why contact Winns?
Winns has an expert team of advisors ready to fight your corner should you have suffered injuries following an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Demonstrating thousands of case wins, our multi-discipline team will advise you on the legal proceedings, guide you through and also cater for all needs relating to the claim; fighting for personal injury compensation, helping to claim out of pocket expenses and arranging necessary medical treatment swiftly, so you can focus on recovery and adaptation to a potential new normal.
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