While workplace injuries tend to spike in the summer—with more heat related injuries, inexperienced employees entering the workforce, and certain industries increasing production—that doesn’t mean winter is without its risks. As winter approaches, businesses and employees should stay alert for workplace injuries and illnesses.
The season itself poses its own dangers. Snow and ice can make sidewalks and other areas at work slippery, causing a risk of falling. Winter weather also makes travel more dangerous and can cause downed power lines. Employees who have to work outside are often exposed to extreme cold and the other elements, making it important for them to take precautions against frostbite. Regardless of the season, employers should work to reduce workplace injuries by providing safety trainings and making sure workplace practices and procedures are in place and enforced.
Winter is also a time when you see more colds and viruses going around. There are several things employees can do to try to stay healthy. Wash your hands often to prevent the spread of germs. Drink plenty of water; staying hydrated will help your overall health and keep you alert. Avoid others who aren’t feeling well, and stay home if you are sick. Eating well will also make sure your body has the nutrients it needs to ward off sickness. Finally, keeping your stress in check will help your body resist sicknesses.
If you do get injured or sick, make sure you know what to do. For workplace injuries, your employer should have procedures and trainings in place so all employees know what to do if someone gets hurt. One common dilemma people often face is to know whether they need to go to the emergency room or urgent care. Emergency rooms are equipped to handle life-threatening injuries and illnesses and other serious medical conditions. An emergency is a condition that may cause loss of life or severe disability if not treated immediately. Urgent care centers are usually located in clinics or hospitals, and, like emergency rooms, offer after-hours care. Unlike emergency rooms, they are not equipped to handle life-threatening situations. Rather, they handle conditions that require immediate attention—those where delaying treatment could cause serious problems or discomfort.
This winter, make sure you’re doing everything you can to stay safe and healthy. For more workplace tips, check back on the Penmac blog each week.