The weather in New York is exciting, to say the least. As a northern city, it can drop down to well below freezing for much of the winter, and heavy storms, including blizzards, are common due to its coastal setting.
However, like many northeastern locations, it also reaches blisteringly hot and humid temperatures throughout the summer, and the tightly packed buildings of New York City do nothing but increase the effect of that heat.
With such extreme weather conditions, working in the city can be a dangerous task, especially if you work outside or in a building with poor climate control. As a worker, you should take care when working in extreme weather to protect yourself.
Limited Federal Protections
Surprisingly, there are no federal protections for workers working in extreme temperatures. OSHA rules protect workers from recognized hazards, but extreme heat and cold are not currently recognized. A bill was submitted to Congress that would have protected workers from working in extreme heat, but it didn’t pass.
However, while heat and cold aren’t recognized as hazards, other extreme weather events are. For example, your employer can’t force you to work outside in a thunderstorm or tornado. If they did, you would be eligible for workers’ compensation for any injuries you suffer during the job.
Protecting Yourself While Working in Extreme Weather
As federal protections are rather limited, you should make efforts to protect yourself when extreme weather strikes a locale like Queens, NY.
Call Off if Needed
Many workplaces expect their employees to come to work no matter how extreme the weather is outside, a notion that is particularly true for office workers who work indoors. A manager may decide that a blizzard isn’t a problem so long as you are all safely inside.
Unfortunately, that fails to take into account the obvious dangers involved with driving to work in a blizzard. If your car slides off the road while trying to get to work, you probably can’t even receive compensation from your employer. With that in mind, it is better to try to take a day off than risk getting hurt.
Dress for the Weather
Even if you work inside, you should never assume that your office will be properly climate-controlled. And if you work outside, you know you will be affected by extreme temperatures throughout the year.
You should bundle up as much as possible and wear layers if it is extremely cold. If you decide you have too much clothing on, you can always remove layers until you have just the right amount of warmth.
On the flip side, in extreme heat, wear light, breathable clothing, as well as a hat to protect your head from the heat. You should even dress lightly if you expect to be indoors because it may still be extremely hot inside the place you work. If someone tries to force you to put on more clothing, refuse: You know what is safe for you to wear on a hot day.
Watch for Unexpected Dangers
The foyer of your office probably isn’t very dangerous on most days, but on a snowy or rainy day, it could be a serious slip and fall danger as people track in water. Similarly, the stairs you commonly take might be less safe if you are sweating heavily and your hand slips off the guardrail.
Be Careful When Working in Extreme Weather Conditions in Queens, NY
Take the weather into account when determining whether any work activities are dangerous and how you should perform them. You may need to work a bit slower in extreme temperatures, but that will help prevent you from suffering harm. Don’t just avoid dangers yourself, either: Warn others if you identify dangers due to extreme weather.
Contact Our Workplace Accident Law Firm in Queens, NY
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