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Reducing workplace accidents in the winter months

Winter weather conditions can be harsh in New York, and this can make life difficult for those who work outdoors or are required to contend with bustling crowds of holiday shoppers. Traditional advice for those who must venture out in freezing conditions is to bundle up well and wear several layers of clothing, but employers may wish to go further if they hope to avoid workplace injuries during the winter months.

Retail establishments and the warehouses that supply them are extremely busy in December, and accidents can happen when pallets are stacked with merchandise and aisles are crowded with shoppers. Steps to reduce these risks include keeping pathways free of obstructions and regularly inspecting inventory levels. Workers who spend lengthy periods outdoors should be equipped accordingly and provided with a way of warming up. For those in remote locations, this can be accomplished by providing temporary structures or vehicles with spacious cabins.

Slips and falls are a leading cause of workplace accidents, and this is exacerbated when freezing temperatures turn puddles into ice. The risks can be mitigated by placing warning signs and applying sand or grit to highly trafficked areas. Slips may also be prevented by ensuring that workers wear footwear with soles designed to provide additional grip on slippery surfaces.

The New York workers' compensation program is designed to provide financial assistance to those who have incurred a workplace injury, but applying for these benefits and providing the documentation and medical evidence needed can be confusing to some. An attorney who has experience with these types of matters can often be of assistance to an injured worker in this situation.

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