Winter weather a hazard for North Carolina workers

Snowy conditions may have closed schools and the Blue Ridge Parkway earlier this week, but with the holidays all but upon us, businesses from retail outfits to fast-food delivery joints have all hands on deck. Whether a seasonal worker or a full-time employee racking up some much-appreciated overtime, “snow days” take on a whole new meaning once you get past junior high school.

Or you have a car, and an obligation to be somewhere.
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Western North Carolina has seen a trio of tractor-trailer wrecks since Thanksgiving alone. One trucker was bearing a load of Christmas trees. WSOC-TV reported that the wreck caused a six-mile closure of U.S. Hwy. 221 in Avery County. And just this past weekend, the United Press International (Charlotte) reported that North Carolina law enforcement responded to more than 500 accidents across the state; one fatal.

As our Charlotte workers compensation attorneys recently noted in a post to our North Carolina Workers Compensation Lawyers blog, employers have an obligation to keep seasonal and seasoned employees safe whether they work on the floor, or on the highway.

For the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, keeping employees safe is so important they have put more than a dozen big-box retailers on notice to heed the OSHA holiday-prep best-practices directives.

While the fear being trampled by a mob of shoppers hoping to nab that super deal is a real concern for anyone who works in retail these days, often forgotten about are those who drive for a living. If you’re on the road in slick conditions, whether it’s your car or a company vehicle, delivering pizza, or dry cleaning, or those office supplies, is no less hazardous. Your boss should make sure both the vehicle and the road conditions are safe for travel before asking you to get behind the wheel.

If you must drive, Truck News offers a few suggestions for keeping your person and your ride, safe.

~ Theft is common during the holiday, so drive with personal safety in mind. Park in well-lit areas. Keep you gas tank full and your cell phone charged. Be prepared for the road and weather conditions. If it feels unsafe, stop.

~ Keep your windshield clean. Make sure your wiper blades are in good condition. Top off wiper fluid.

~ Use snow tires and chains as needed.

Our Carolina workers compensation lawyers with Lee & Smith know that dealing with a serious or fatal North Carolina work accident, or a worker’s compensation or disability claim, can be overwhelming and stressful. We hope that if you are involved in a work-related injury in North or South Carolina you will call us at 1-800-887-1965 or email our law offices to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.

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