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Protecting workers from the cold

In the middle of a cold winter, New Yorkers may want to stay inside and in bed all day. However, for most people, that is not reality. No matter how cold it is outside, individuals still need to get up and go to work. For many individuals, the cold weather does not affect their working environment; they are comfortable indoors. However, for others, the cold can present dangers and result in injuries.

For New Yorkers who work outside, the cold can be difficult to deal with. Not only can cold temperatures create hazards, wind and precipitation can increase the dangers.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, understanding the dangers of working in cold environments is very important to preventing injuries. There are many hazards created specifically by the cold. These risks include developing hypothermia, frostbite or trench foot. These serious injuries can result in life threatening situations. With hypothermia, for example, severe symptoms include slowing heart rate and breathing. Hypothermia can ultimately result in a loss of consciousness and death for individuals. Workers need to be aware of the signs of these dangerous health hazards.

Employers also need to take some responsibility in preventing accidents related to the cold weather. Employers need to provide warm areas for breaks, train individuals to recognize the symptoms of cold stress hazards and provide controls that help to reduce the cold, such as heaters. These steps can help to prevent serious injuries from occurring.

Employers throughout the state of New York are responsible for keeping employees safe on the job. Employers must follow federal regulations and state laws to ensure that workers are safe. Workplace safety regulations are important and should be followed at every turn. When a worker is injured at work, workers' compensation benefits may be available to help compensate employees for their damages.

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