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Winter weather can increase likelihood of workplace accidents

The winter months can be a busy time for employees of many kinds. Though retail employees immediately come to mind, it can also be a busy time for those in construction or manufacturing work here in North Carolina. This time of year can bring added stress to a workplace, especially in hazardous weather conditions. There are several things that employers can do in order to minimize the potential for workplace accidents.

Nearly three million workplace injuries happened in the United States in 2017, and it is not presumptuous to think that winter weather may have been a factor in many of those accidents. Heavy snowfall and ice can cause many different kinds of injuries. Slips or trips and falls can happen if walkways or stairways are not kept clear of ice. Icy roads and poor visibility can lead to vehicle crashes where employees may even lose their lives or suffer serious injury. Those employees who work outside could be subject to frostbite or hypothermia, depending on weather conditions.

Several of these injuries can be avoided if supervisors, managers and other company leaders take charge and set an example for those who work for them. New hires who may be eager to prove themselves must be taught proper procedures. More seasoned employees can be empowered to voice any concerns they may have if they feel confident that no retaliation will be taken against them. A leader who is familiar with his or her worker's specialties and strengths can create a contingency plan to use if a company finds itself short-handed or with employees who are overworked because of other absent employees.

Employees here in North Carolina have certain rights under the law. Safety is paramount all year round, but especially during the harsher winter months. Workplace accidents will hopefully never occur, but anyone who experiences one can make use of the workers' compensation insurance system, which an experienced attorney can help guide them through the claims process. Such financial benefits can typically be used to cover medical expenses and lost wages.

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