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Winter weather presents serious work hazards across Texas

Many areas of Texas are simply not equipped to deal with serious winter weather, like the storms that swept through parts of the state last weekend. Schools were closed, roads were blocked and people were stranded in airports as the ice and snow swept across the country.

During times like this, it may be important to remind people that there are serious risks associated with winter weather. This can be especially true for construction workers, transportation employees and others who work outside. It is not uncommon for people to get seriously hurt in a workplace accident because of some common weather-related hazards.

  • Slips and falls: Roads and sidewalks can get very icy and slippery in the winter. These wet surfaces can put workers in serious danger because of how easily a person can slip, trip or fall. In these types of accidents, victims can suffer serious back pain, broken bones or even head injuries that make it impossible for them to continue working.
  • Car accidents: People who drive for a living or just on occasion for their job may want to remember that getting in a car accident while working is not uncommon, especially when road conditions are treacherous. Whether a person is rear-ended by a car that cannot stop or slides off an icy road, injuries that can be suffered could include lacerations, spinal cord damage or permanent neck or back pain.
  • Extreme cold: Working outside and being exposed to the elements may not be a major issue during many months in Texas. However, during the winter, cold snaps, wind and freezing rain could put outside workers in danger of suffering hypothermia, frostbite and other conditions resulting for exposure to cold temperatures.

These are just some of the common weather-related injuries that workers may experience this winter. It can be important to remember these, as they could be considered work-related illnesses or injuries which could mean that a person is eligible to pursue workers' compensation. These benefits can help workers cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages and other related expenses.

Source: NBC News, "'Take extra precautions': Massive wintry storm system hits country hard as it plows eastward," Elisha Fieldstadt and Daniel Arkin, Dec. 8, 2013

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