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Injuries to snow removal professionals

Winter moves in quickly in Denver and throughout Colorado. One day, the local residents are in awe at the beauty of the fall and by the next day, the leaves are off the trees and the barren branches are topped with fresh snow. While winter usually ushers in a season of hibernation in other parts of the country, Denver actually comes to life when the first flakes start to fly. This is when an influx of tourists arrive and when the nearby residents look to head to their favorite ski resort for the weekend.

At the same time, workers who specialize in snow and ice removal gear up for the busy season. Nearly every day, there's a job that needs to be done, and it's important that workers stay safe while they are clearing sidewalks, roads and other pathways.

What are the most common injuries to snow removal workers?

Snow removal injuries are quite common. In fact, according to HeatTrak, about 11,000 people across the country are injured while snow shoveling every year. Snow removal workers should note that they are most at-risk for the following injuries:

  • Back injuries — Snow removal is laborious work. It requires an individual to repeatedly lift and remove wet, heavy snow. If they are not utilizing the right technique, there is a very good chance that they will injure their back while they are clearing a sidewalk, drive way or parking lot. Back injuries can range from minor discomfort to severe injuries that must be treated at a hospital or that require surgery to correct.
  • Head injuries — Snow removal workers also are at risk of suffering from a head injury. This is often because they are working outside in the elements, where they may inadvertently be struck by falling ice or injured by snow removal equipment. Head injuries can have severe and lasting complications, so it's critical that snow removal workers are treated as quickly as possible.
  • Heart attacks or strokes — Heart attacks and strokes are surprisingly common injuries that occur during snow removal. This is due to the physical nature of the job and the exertion that is required. While heart attacks account for about 7 percent of all snow removal injuries, they are responsible for nearly all of snow removal fatalities.

How can snow removal workers stay safe all winter long?

Snow removal workers who are employed as temporary employees or who work full-time for a company should make an effort to stay safe while working each day. It is imperative that employers provide their snow removal employees with safety training and equipment that will protect them at work. In addition, the employer must make sure that all snow removal equipment is in good working condition before employees head out to complete their next job.

Snow removal employees also are accountable for their own safety, and should take preventative measures to avoid injuries while working. They should use premier snow removal equipment while working, and also should make an effort to use that equipment properly. While outside in the elements, the snow removal worker should dress in warm layers that will protect them from the cold and wet conditions. Snow removal workers should take regular breaks indoors so that they do not suffer from injuries or illness related to extreme cold exposure.

What should you do if you are injured on the job?

Snow removal workers who are injured while working should first contact emergency medical personnel and get the treatment that they need. These injuries can be dangerous and have lasting complications, so proper care is absolutely critical. If the injury occurs as a result of neglect on the part of the employer or the client, there may be legal ramifications that the worker can pursue, and the worker should contact a personal injury attorney.

Given the nature of the position, injuries are common amongst snow removal workers. If you or someone you love has been injured while working for a snow removal company, you will want to contact an experienced personal injury attorney today.

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