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Construction Site Injuries in New Jersey Winters

Common Injuries Suffered in Cold Weather

Construction Site Injuries in New Jersey WintersThough many construction jobs are seasonal, a large number of construction workers in New Jersey work all through the winter, often with protective gear and space heaters. Those workers face increased risk of injury in snowy and icy conditions. Among the most common winter construction site injuries are:

  • Slip-and-falls, including falls from heights—Falls are the most common type of construction site accident year-round. When you add snow and ice into the equation, the risk goes up dramatically, putting workers at significant risk of broken bones, concussion and other traumatic brain injury, and back or spinal cord trauma. The risk can be reduced by ensuring that there are proper safety barriers at elevated construction levels, that workers wear boots with good rubber treads, and that workers slow the pace of movement to account for slippery conditions.
  • Cold stress—According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), exposure to too much cold weather can be fatal, with the average annual number of cold-related deaths exceeding 1,300. Non-fatal conditions that can result from working in sub-freezing weather include trench foot, frostbite, and hypothermia. Hypothermia, the result of your body temperature going below 95 degrees, is the most dangerous, causing reduced blood flow and breathing, unconsciousness, and even death. Frostbite can lead to the loss of fingers, toes, ear lobes, and even your nose. Trench foot, caused when your feet stay wet and cold for long periods of time, can lead to blisters and loss of skin/tissue on your feet.
  • Injuries caused by accumulated snow or ice—The accumulation of snow and ice can alsopose serious risks. The weight of snow can bring down power lines, putting workers at risk of exposure to live current. Snow also can accumulate on a roof and then fall off and crush workers below.

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