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What are winter worker safety tips to avoid work accidents?

While most schools are going to remain closed in the frigid cold engulfing Chicago this week, not everyone will have the luxury of staying inside to stay safe. While experts are warning that even a few minutes of exposure to the elements may be life threatening, many will continue to work to make a living. Even when the temperature is not this cold, exposure to severe weather without proper equipment can result in the body going into shock, which might lead to death.

Construction workers are constantly exposed to frigid temperatures in Chicago and it is their employer's duty to ensure they are provided with personal protection equipment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's cold stress card can serve as a reference guide on how to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses resulting from cold weather.

Employers should identify any signs about cold-weather illnesses and train workers about the same, including training on how to avoid becoming injured. Construction workers should be encouraged to wear appropriate clothing, including layering that could adjust to different conditions. Short, regular breaks should be given in a warm environment so that workers can dry their clothes and warm their bodies. Workers should be paired up as much as possible so they can keep an eye on one another's status. Footwear should also be according to the conditions in which they are working.

When operating tools in cold weather, extra caution should be taken if the grip is going to suffer because of the climate. Taking these steps can minimize construction workers' injuries, but when they do take place, it might be possible to for a workers' compensation claim to cover one's medical bills that resulted from a construction or industrial accident.

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