Temperature extremes can be damaging to employees. There is often a lot of focus on protecting workers from very hot environments, or from cold outdoor environments. One issue which is forgotten, however, is the issue of worker safety in cold indoor environments. A recent survey of workers who perform their jobs in refrigerated indoor spaces demonstrated that employees who work under these difficult conditions are often put at serious risk of harm and often are not sufficiently trained in preventing accidents.
If you sustain an injury doing any job tasks, or if extreme temperatures in your workplace cause you to get hurt or sick, you need to pursue a case for benefits so you can get your bills and costs covered. An Atlanta work accident lawyer can provide invaluable guidance to those harmed on-the-job and can help you to make sure you get the workers’ comp coverage you deserve if you get hurt due to temperature conditions in your workplace.
Atlanta Workplace Safety Risks Faced By Workers in Indoor Cold Environments
There are many work environments where employees have to perform their job tasks in chilled or refrigerated indoor spaces. Some lab testing and scientific work is done under these conditions. Employees who work in the food service or catering industry also frequently work in refrigerated areas where they are continually exposed to cold.
Safety BLR reported on a recent survey of workers who do their jobs in cold indoor environments, and the survey revealed these workers were not being provided with the safe workspace or protections they deserved. Many indicated they were exposed to excessive condensation which left their clothing wet, and exposed to frequent drafts which made them even colder than the normal low temperatures in their workspace. Many also indicated they had limited or no training on safety, and that appropriate gloves were not provided to keep their hands warm.
Employees who are forced to do tasks requiring manual dexterity in cold environments may be especially at risk of getting hurt. Food service workers, for example, may need to use sharp knives and other cooking tools that need to be manipulated carefully to avoid cuts and other injuries. When their hands are too cold, they can’t properly manipulate these kitchen tools. This can lead to lacerations or more serious injuries.
Many of the food service workers are required to wear sanitary gloves for food preparation, and are not provided with any gloves that keep their hands warm. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) urges that proper gloves be provided for employees who do work in indoor cold environments. Gloves should be thin enough so employees can still use their hands to accomplish tasks, and should be thin enough that sanity gloves can be worn over them.
In addition to gloves, NIOSH also recommends rotating workers out of cold spaces, providing more training, locating hand warming stations near cold environments, limiting work requiring manual dexterity in cold spaces, and otherwise taking steps to ensure employees are safe from extreme indoor temperatures. When employees do get hurt, they must understand their options for getting injury costs covered.
Parsons & Associates, P.C. is an Atlanta workers’ compensation law firm serving Atlanta, Savannah, and surrounding areas throughout Fulton County. Contact Parsons & Associates, P.C. today at 770-422-9000 or contact us online if you have been injured at work.