While San Diego is not typically known for violent winter weather patterns, workers are still exposed to the elements and can suffer serious injuries and devastating conditions. Workers in at-risk occupations are wise to take precautions to avoid serious injury during the cooler months.
What types of work injuries are common during the winter months?
- Slip-and-fall accidents: Through the winter and early spring, San Diego experiences its rainiest portion of the year. During this time, the rain can bring slippery liquids to the surface of commonly dry areas. From oil and grease to other engine fluids, workers at construction sites, near roads or in parking structures often suffer serious injuries after slipping and falling to the ground.
- Motor vehicle collisions: Whether driving for a job-related task or working next to passing traffic, workers might experience a motor vehicle collision. Slippery roads, as mentioned previously, and earlier sunsets combine to create an environment in which Southern California drivers might lose control of their vehicles.
- Back injuries: With average temperatures often dropping to the low 50s, San Diego workers must remember to dress warm during the winter. Often, cold weather can lead directly to pulled muscles and strained ligaments. Workers rely on their back muscles to provide the strength, leverage and balance needed to move heavy objects.
- Trench foot: While people often equate this affliction with frigid temperatures, it has more to do with dampness. When the feet are immersed in water or remain wet for long periods of time, trench foot can set in. Workers who spend a significant amount of time outside during the rainy season can suffer this painful, progressive condition.
Workers in all occupations face injuries on nearly every shift. From accidents and toxic exposure to repetitive stress, job performance often puts employees directly at risk. When the weather turns cold, however, workers can face a new layer of danger and serious injuries.