Winter in New Jersey brings with it the task of shoveling or removing snow, which for some people is part of their job. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminds employers and workers about the potential dangers of snow removal and offers tips on how to stay safe while doing this type of work.
The hazards of snow removal work come from the snow itself, the location of the work, the temperature outside and even the surrounding environment. Roof snow removal is particularly dangerous due to the risk of falls. OSHA recommends avoiding rooftop snow removal if at all possible and instead using draglines or snow rakes so that workers can stay on the ground.
During cold weather, outdoor work carries with it the risk of frost bite and hypothermia. People are advised to wear proper clothing and footwear when working outdoors in the cold and snow. Taking slow, short steps can make walking on snow and ice safer. Other things outdoor winter workers are advised to look out for are nearby power lines, potential hazards from passing vehicles, electrical hazards from equipment and machinery and dangers from generators including the risk of poisoning.
Most New Jersey employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage to protect their employees who are injured on the job or who contract an occupational disease. People who have been harmed in a workplace accident might want to meet with an attorney to learn more about how to file a claim and what benefits might be available. An attorney could also advocate for a worker if the claim is denied or disputed.