Extreme weather poses threat to construction workers
Working outside in the elements can be a significant draw for people who prefer to work in the fresh air than in an office behind a desk.
However, Mother Nature can prove to be quite dangerous to people working outside when the weather gets bad. For instance, if you work in construction, you can face several threats to your safety in extreme weather.
High winds can cause catastrophic damage during a storm. For instance, winds in a Maryland storm uprooted a tree that fell on top of a house. Elsewhere, the high winds led to a collapsed building on a construction site, injuring four workers.
In the event of high winds, it can be extremely dangerous to work near unstable structures or in equipment like cranes.
Rain can make surfaces slippery; it can reduce visibility; it may render electrical equipment inoperable. There can also be risks of flooding as well as hypothermia and other cold- or moisture-related illnesses.
If rain is in the forecast, construction crews can take precautions like covering equipment and open-air projects, wearing footwear to minimize slipping or sinking into mud and working on projects inside instead of outside.
Power outages and electrical events
Storms can cause severe electrical events like downed power lines and lightning strikes. Workers and others who are outside in these conditions can run the risk of being electrocuted or burned. They can also be crushed by falling structures and equipment.
To avoid these devastating accidents, workers can seek shelter and stay away from bodies of water. Individuals would also be wise to refrain from using any electrical equipment.
We cannot control the weather, but we can keep ourselves safe should it become dangerous. On a construction site, this can involve suspending work, staying inside, and wearing protective gear.
However, if an accident still occurs while a person is on the job, injured construction workers may want to explore their options for relief through workers’ compensation benefits, and should seek counsel from an experienced attorney