While most Pennsylvania employers are likely aware of the importance of following the safety guidelines that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has in place, they may not consider how to handle extreme weather conditions. Employers should take steps to make certain that their employees are protected when the weather conditions are poor.
According to the Department of Labor, a case that illustrates the dangers that weather may bring to workers is one that involved a United States Postal Service letter carrier. The man collapsed in July 2013 while walking his regular delivery route in Massachusetts. At the time, it was humid, and the heat index reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the man was taken to the hospital, his internal body temperature was reportedly measured at 110 degrees. He succumbed the following day. The DOL reached a settlement with the USPS that required it to implement a training program for handling and recognizing the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, among other things. The DOL stresses that employers must make certain to ensure the safety of their workers when the weather poses hazards.
Workplace safety is extremely important for both employees and employers. When workers are injured while working, they may be permanently disabled and suffer losses of income along with burgeoning expenses. In addition to protecting their employees, employers also have an interest in keeping their workplaces safe in order to reduce their losses. People who are injured at work want to talk to a workers’ compensation attorney about filing for benefits through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Through workers’ compensation, injured employees might receive necessary medical treatment and in some cases partial wage replacement if they are unable to return to work for a lengthy period of time.