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Extreme cold can cause construction workers' accidents

As the harsh New York winter weather approaches, employees who work outdoors need special protection to avoid injuries related to extreme cold. Construction workers' accidents can be prevented if employers schedule most of the indoor jobs for the coldest days. Two of the most common weather-related conditions during winter months include hypothermia and frostbite, both of which make workers vulnerable to additional injuries.

Hypothermia is the condition that results from a significant drop in a worker's core body temperature. If it drops to below 95 degrees Fahrenheit and the worker is treated promptly, the condition will be mild. The worker can shiver uncontrollably, lose dexterity and become incoherent. However, if left untreated, the temperature can drop below 90 degrees and become life-threatening. Along with other symptoms, respiration, blood pressure and heart rate can drop, and emergency treatment will be required to prevent death.

Frostbite is also a serious condition, because it could cause the loss of body extremities such as the nose, ears, hands, fingers, feet and toes. This happens because the body limits blood circulation to extremities in an attempt to maintain the core temperature. The lack of blood can cause dead or frozen tissues in these areas, and initial symptoms include a pale or blue skin tone, which might turn black if the person remains exposed to extreme cold.

New York workers might want to gain knowledge about preventing cold-related illnesses. Even before conditions become critical, the effects of cold weather could increase the chances of construction workers' accidents caused by the lack of the sense of feeling in hands and feet. Victims of such accidents or cold-related illnesses might be eligible for workers' compensation benefits, and an experienced attorney could assist with the navigation of claims to obtain compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.

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