New York experiences all four seasons, but adverse weather conditions can sometimes pose serious risk for construction workers.
Freezing temperatures, snow, ice, slush, rain, wind, and other inclement conditions can create unique hazards on construction sites. Building owners and general contractors have an obligation to protect construction workers against these dangers.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a weather-related construction accident in New York City, you should speak to the experienced personal injury lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. We will help you move forward to obtain the compensation you deserve.
When adverse weather conditions combine with the negligence of a property owner or contractor, construction workers can get injured for no fault of theirs.
Ignoring safety measures or any other careless missteps on part of the employer or contractor can get magnified in bad weather conditions. Construction accidents that may typically occur in adverse weather in New York City include:
Heavy-duty construction vehicles are difficult to control even in normal weather conditions. When the road is slippery because of rain or ice, the risk of a vehicle crash resulting in serious injuries increases substantially.
Trips and falls rank among the top causes of construction site injuries. These accidents may occur even on a regular, plain surface in slippery conditions. Falls from heights, such as fall from a scaffolding, hoist, lift, or ladder may occur more often in adverse weather when equiptment is slick and dangerous..
Almost every major construction site in New York City will feature cranes. A crane of any size can become a hazard in inclement weather conditions, such as snow, rain, and high wind. Crane collapses may occur in strong windy conditions.
The risk of struck-by object and falling object injuries will increase in wet and slippery conditions on the construction site. Slippery surfaces and severely cold temperatures can make it hard to control construction machinery and tools. High winds may also cause construction debris and materials to fall.
Risks of fires, electrocution, and electrical injuries are higher in wet conditions on construction sites. Downed power lines, gas line and electrical wiring damage in wind or rain may also cause a fire or explosion on a construction site.
If the under-construction building does not comply with the code, there may be a danger to the workers’ life in poor weather conditions.
Property owners, employers, and contractors are required to conduct the construction work in way that worker safety is ensured even in bad weather. This includes complying with various OSHA regulations and New York State labor laws that have been put in place to mitigate the risk of construction worker injuries in weather-related accidents.
According to OSHA, extremely cold weather conditions present problems such as a higher risk of crashes involving cranes, dump trucks, forklifts, and other construction vehicles. Slick surfaces make it difficult for workers to get adequate traction when operating lifts, ladders, scaffolding, or heavy construction equipment.
Apart from the worksite hazards, freezing temperatures also take a physical toll on the health of construction workers. CDC advises employers and workers to be cognizant of the wind chill factor and take appropriate measures for protection. It is important to protect construction workers in New York against these types of cold stress:
Injuries to the feet may occur in this condition because of prolonged exposure to cold, wet weather. Trench foot may occur even when the outside temperature is not freezing cold.
If the body temperature goes down below 95 degrees, hypothermia may occur. While this condition is more common when workers are exposed to freezing temperatures, it may also happen in warmer weather if the construction worker becomes chilled due to cold water, sweat, or rain.
Construction workers may experience frostbite when exposed to below-freezing temperatures. In this condition, the affected skin and tissue become frozen. Workers who are not adequately protected by PPE or have a reduced blood flow are at a higher risk of frostbite.
Carbon monoxide poisoning risks are also higher during winter season when heaters and other gas-powered equipment are used in enclosed construction sites.
The winter weather safety guide published by OSHA offers guidelines for employers and contractors who can prevent construction site accidents in cold weather. These include:
Employers and contractors must take the necessary steps to minimize the risk of construction accidents and make sure that the safety needs of construction crews are met in winter months in New York. Failure to do so could result in worker injuries and consequent claims and personal injury lawsuits for compensation.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a weather-related construction accident, speak to an attorney at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff law firm as soon as possible. Our accomplished New York City construction injury lawyers will objectively review your case and advise you the right legal strategy to follow.
Our experienced legal team at RMFW Law will fight for your rights, and hold the responsible parties liable for their negligence.
Whether you have a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury case, we will support you every step of the way. And you will never have to pay us a fee unless we win your case. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 212-344-1000 or contact us online.