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Keeping Workers Safe When Winter Comes
Employers in Connecticut and throughout the country have a duty to keep workers safe in all weather conditions. During the winter months, this generally means taking steps to protect against cold weather, snow and wind. It may also mean protecting against the hazards presented by slippery surfaces or that may come with removing heavy snow. Individuals who are not used to working in winter weather conditions may need more training and time to acclimate themselves.
For instance, they may need to be trained on how to drive in the snow or how to work on elevated surfaces that may be covered in ice or snow. In addition to learning how to drive in winter weather conditions, employees should know how to inspect a vehicle before doing so. This means checking tires, brakes and electrical components as well as windshield wipers and lights.
If workers are asked to handle or remove trees or tree limbs, they should be given proper equipment to do so. Generally speaking, they will need gloves in addition to protection for their ears, head and eyes. They should also be given fall protection equipment if the limbs are being removed from a roof or other elevated surface. Ideally, only those with proper training will engage in such an activity.
Those who are injured on the job may require many days or weeks to recover. They may also incur medical bills in the course of their treatment. Workers' compensation benefits may help to pay those medical bills and help a worker to make up wages lost while out of work. An attorney can often help to ensure that the required claim contains all necessary information and that it is filed on a timely basis.