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Avoiding injuries from cold if you work outdoors

A deep winter freeze has descended upon Colorado and much of the United States. In these short, dark days of January, some outdoor workers may feel like the season of snow might never end. While there's fun to be had in the fresh powder, the cold weather brings along with it unique risks and challenges. It's particularly dangerous for those in Colorado who work outside in order to earn a living. 

Recently, a Colorado journalist was hospitalized due to severe frostbite. The television news reporter was out in the field, reporting on the extreme winter weather in the Colorado Springs area. He was delivering the news to his audience, all while being subjected to diving temperatures and winds that exceeded 25 miles per hour. 

For this reporter, being out in the elements is part of the job. Frostbite can be a painful condition that sometimes results in additional complications, and it is important that all people who have to work outside stay as safe as possible.

Tips for avoiding injuries from the cold if you work outdoors 

  • Wear the proper gear to stay safe in the elements. Any employee who is required to work outside for a significant period of time should be encouraged to wear thermal layers, warm jackets, hats, ear protection, sunglasses and other safety gear that can protect the worker from the elements. Low temperatures, high winds and icy as well as snowy conditions are particularly dangerous for those who work outside. Employers are obligated to provide employees with the equipment as well as the training that they need in order to stay safe while working.
  • Frequently schedule breaks where you can rest indoors. It is best for those who are working outside to take a break several times a day in order to warm up during the cold weather months. These breaks allow the body to thaw and to continue functioning properly, which can prevent the onset of illness or injury while at work.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet and stay hydrated. Fresh fruits and vegetables can provide the body with the nutrients it needs in order to thrive, even in harsh weather. In addition carbohydrates and fats can help prepare the body for prolonged exposure to the elements. Workers also must stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, as this will prevent headaches, dizziness and other complications from dehydration from setting in.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of frost bite. Some of the early signs of frost bite include pale yellow or white skin tone, or a tingling sensation in the skin. 
  • Keep a first aid kit nearby. A first aid kit that is equipped with medical supplies can help reduce the impact of an unexpected injury, and can provide relief until medical experts arrive on scene.

What to do if you suffer from a work-related injury as the result of extreme cold

Whether you are suffering from the effects of frost bite or you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it's important that you take the appropriate measures to get treatment and receive the compensation that you will need. First and foremost, you should contact emergency professionals and get medical care as quickly as possible. Contact your supervisor in order to file a report, so that you can begin the process of compiling the paperwork that is necessary for worker's compensation. If you are struggling to get the compensation that you feel you need during your time off from work, it is best to seek out the advice and counsel of an experienced attorney.

If you or someone that you love was injured while working outside in the elements in the Denver area, it may be time to contact a personal injury attorney who is experienced in worker's compensation law in Colorado. You may be eligible for worker's compensation, and if there was neglect on the part of your employer, there is a chance you could file a personal injury lawsuit. It is important that you partner with an experienced attorney who will advocate for you during this difficult time.

For more information on worker's compensation and personal injury law in Colorado, contact our Denver law firm today.

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