There is no denying the fact that winter is here. But as familiar as many Midwestern residents may be with winter weather, people can still get hurt in a weather-related accident caused by ice, snow or the cold.

Ohioans generally understand the preventative measures to stay safe during this time year. We slow down on the roads, shovel our sidewalks and dress warmly when we head outside, but accidents still happen and people can still get hurt, even when we are at work. In fact, an insurance company in another Midwestern state recently noted that workplace injury claims increase during winter months.

This may not be surprising, but it is certainly something of which we should all be reminded. This winter, we want our readers to remember that there are some weather-specific hazards that can lead to workplace accidents and injuries.

Temperature can be a factor in causing an injury. There are many occupations that require people to work outside, even in the winter, and the frigid weather can lead to frostbite, hypothermia and dehydration. 

Icy surfaces can increase the likelihood of a slip-and-fall accident, which can also lead to serious injuries. When a person falls on a hard, icy surface, he or she can suffer serious bruising, back or neck injuries, broken bones and even traumatic brain injuries.

Snow can pose a threat to people’s safety on the job as well. A significant snowfall can conceal stairs or potential hazards; it can be heavy enough to weigh down trees or rooftops; and people tracking the snow into a building can lead to wet, slippery surfaces indoors.

Knowing that these hazards exist is important and it can help people be aware of them and try to avoid them. Unfortunately, there are some situations that are unavoidable and an accident just happens.

If a weather-related accident results in injuries, it can be crucial for victims to first get medical attention. After that, it may be necessary to consider your legal options for seeking financial redress. If the accident occurred in the course of a person’s employment, regardless of fault or negligence, there may be grounds to pursue a workers’ compensation claim.