Unless risks have been properly assessed and managed, working outside in winter can have a serious effect on your health.
Dangers of working outside in winter
The effects of working outside in winter include:
- Shivering, numbness and dehydration
- Immersion foot, chilblains and frostbite
Excessive cold may also exacerbate existing respiratory or cardiovascular health issues.
Additional risks of working outside in winter
Apathy or fatigue, lack of co-ordination, drowsiness or loss of consciousness brought on by the cold also increase the risk of accidents at work. In addition, using vibrating or pneumatic tools while cold increases the risk of developing hand-arm vibration syndrome.
Employers have a duty of care to minimise the risks of employees being affected or injured by working in the cold. Measures to prevent cold-related conditions and cold-related work accidents may consist of:
- Provision of appropriate, well-fitting personal protective equipment (warm clothing, gloves, etc.)
- Provision of mobile warming-up facilities (heated shelter, warm drinks or soup)
- Introduction of more frequent breaks
- Education of workers with regards to recognising early cold stress symptoms
Employers may also consider delaying work until warmer conditions prevail.
Affected by cold
If you developed a cold-related health condition or had a workplace accident because you were exposed to the cold for too long in the last 36 months, your employer could be held liable to pay you work injury compensation. Making a claim will make it necessary for you to provide evidence to show that your employer did nothing to prevent your work injury.
Other supporting evidence you will need to gather includes documentation (medical records) of your injury, receipts for any expenses you incurred because of your injury at work and, if claiming for loss of earnings, pay slips and/or bank statements. Photographs of the scene of your workplace accident and witness statements will also be useful.
Accident Advice Helpline
We can help you in all aspects of claiming, from gathering all necessary evidence and establishing who was responsible for your work injuries to bringing your claim to a satisfactory conclusion. To get started with your work injury claim and enlist our in-house solicitors’ assistance, call our freephone helpline from your mobile or a UK landline on (respectively) 0333 500 0993 or 0800 689 0500. Our helpful advisors will keep any details you provide completely confidential and your claim will be handled under a conditional fee (better known as no-win, no-fee*) agreement.
Date Published: February 20, 2017
Author: Accident Advice