As the weather gets colder in New Jersey, your work changes. No matter what industry you are in, winter weather can impact your daily responsibilities at your job. Inclement weather conditions can contribute to or directly cause a workplace injury. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ice, sleet and snow were involved in 42,480 workplace injuries in 2014.
How are you supposed to stay safe at your job when winter comes? Here are some things your employer should be doing to prevent you from getting hurt at work.
1. Prevent slips, trips and falls
To stop you from slipping, tripping or falling, your employer should make sure all walking surfaces are clear of ice and snow. This means spreading deicer, applying salt or sand to surfaces, marking hazardous areas, putting rugs and mats inside entryways and ensuring employees are wearing footwear with proper traction and insulation. Your employer may also need to get help from a snow removal company. If your employer fails to take these actions, you could fall and sustain an injury.
2. Properly train you to shovel snow
Your employer may assign you the task of shoveling snow when winter comes. If you do not have the proper training or cannot get enough rest, you may experience a back injury, dehydration or overexertion injuries. Your manager should allow you to take frequent breaks and teach you the proper lifting technique to prevent this.
3. Provide fall protection
Your manager may also make you responsible for removing snow from the roof or another high surface. If this happens, your employer must provide fall protection, verify safe ladder use and make sure you do not overexert yourself. Falling from an elevated height or overworking yourself can lead to serious injuries.
Winter weather in New Jersey brings unique hazards, including slippery surfaces, extreme coldness and strong winds. In such conditions, your employer must take steps to prevent injuries and fatalities.