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3 winter weather risks for New York construction workers

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2023 | Construction Accidents

Construction professionals in New York operate in one of the most dangerous professions. Construction workers are more likely than those in a variety of other fields to suffer severe injuries on the job or to die because of their employment.

Construction professionals need to advocate for themselves based on the presence of different risk factors, as companies may put expediency above safety. The winter season brings with it a host of new safety concerns for construction professionals. The following are three of the most pressing issues that could lead to injuries or worse for construction professionals in the winter in New York.

Exposure to the elements

Being outside during freezing weather is dangerous all on its own. People can develop frostbite and other exposure-related medical conditions. In severe cases, lengthy exposure to cold temperatures and strong winds could lead to nerve damage and sometimes even amputation. Workers need to have proper gear to keep themselves warm and also warming stations that protect them from the elements. Their employers should let them take breaks as necessary to protect their overall body temperature and their extremities.

Falling ice

Tall buildings in New York tend to accumulate unsafe amounts of ice and snow far above street level. Then, when the wind picks up for temperatures increase, that ice might fall suddenly, leading to injuries for anyone below. Construction workers are at risk of having frozen precipitation fall on them from above, which could lead to severe injuries or death.


With colder weather comes freezing precipitation and the elevated risk of a slip-and-fall. Particularly when construction workers do their jobs at significant elevations, a strong gust of wind combined with a slippery surface could be a recipe for severe injury or death. Falls are a safety concern throughout the year, but winter weather may increase the likelihood that a worker will slip and then fall or possibly drop something in their attempt to avoid falling.

Workers who are aware of how safety risks change during the winter months, know what accommodations to request from employers and when to speak up about their concerns can navigate the colder months more safely and effectively. With that said, even the most safety-conscious worker can get hurt on the job. Filing a workers’ compensation claim after a winter weather incident on a construction site could help a worker recover and support themselves until they can return to work.