Despite improvements in training and equipment, construction remains a comparatively dangerous industry in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. In fact, in 2019, construction workers suffered about 150,000 reportable injuries. Falls, electrocutions, caught-between accidents and equipment-related incidents were the most common reasons for construction injuries that year.
Even if you wear personal protective gear, use reliable equipment and follow safety protocols, you may sustain a work-related injury any time during the year. For construction workers, though, winter and spring are particularly dangerous seasons.
In cold winter and spring months, construction workers have an increased chance of slipping and falling on frozen surfaces. If you work with heavy equipment, digging into frozen ground may also cause your tools to perform unpredictably. Furthermore, if you drive a work vehicle, you may spin out or skid on icy roadways.
As the ground thaws, soil may have different properties. Digging a trench or building a retaining wall in the spring may cause soil to shift, potentially making you vulnerable to injuries in a collapse. Also, during rainy months, waterlogged soil may be heavier than you expect. If you use incorrect or unsteady equipment, you may sustain an injury in an equipment accident.
Hypothermia and hyperthermia
While some construction professionals work in heated spaces, many others must brave the elements. During Pennsylvania’s notoriously cold winters, you may be at risk for hypothermia. As temperatures rise in spring months, you may also overheat or dehydrate unexpectedly.
While weather and construction sites can be unpredictable, you can take steps to prevent a workplace injury. If you suffer one in winter or spring, though, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to help you manage both your recovery and your finances.