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Dressing for the weather could prevent worker injuries

Cold weather presents risks to many individuals throughout the state of Pennsylvania. For many, the risk involves negotiating tricky driving conditions. For those whose occupation takes them outside however, there are other matters to be concerned about–namely how the cold will affect their bodies. Dressing properly can go a long way toward addressing this issue.

Layering clothing is a good approach. Cold weather workers could benefit from wearing three layers. The innermost layer should wick moisture away from the body. Polypropylene, silk or wool can accomplish this. The next layer should consist of a material that will insulate even in cases when it becomes wet. The outer layer should provide some ventilation but also protect from rain and wind.

The extremities should be protected as well. Waterproof booths that are insulated will protect a worker's feet. Similarly gloves that do the same thing should be worn. A hat can provide coverage to ears and protection of the mouth and face may be accomplished via a knit mask.

Despite dressing appropriately, cold temperatures can still cause injury to a worker if he or she is not properly monitored by his or her employer. In some of these situations it is possible that the injuries could even result in the worker needing to spend time away from work, recovering. During this period of time workers' compensation benefits may be of assistance to the recovering worker and his or her family.

Unfortunately, these benefits are not always easy to secure. They may be denied for a wide variety of reasons. For some whose applications are initially denied, a workers' compensation lawyer may be of assistance.

Source: OSHA, "Winter Weather," Accessed Jan. 6, 2014

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