top of page

Cold Weather Construction Injuries in New York

Construction workers in New York face a wide range of construction accident injury risks every day on the job. Although most construction site injuries can be prevented with proper safety equipment and attention to critical safety protocols, accidents continue to happen on job sites, and construction workers continue to sustain severe and deadly injuries. Certain seasonal elements can impact worksite safety, such as high temperatures during the summer and cold temperatures during the winter. In addition to below-freezing temperatures that can impact construction work in the winter, construction workers can also be at risk for other winter-related injuries resulting from snow, ice, and sleet. It is important for construction workers to understand the risks of cold weather injuries in the winter, to learn about injury prevention strategies, and to find out about seeking compensation when an accident does happen.

What to Know About Cold Weather Construction Injuries

Cold weather can be particularly hazardous for construction workers outdoors in New York. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are more than 20,000 workplace injuries every year due to winter weather, including snow, ice, sleet, and low temperatures. A significant number of these injuries affect workers in New York. Indeed, as the BLS reports, about 14 percent of all work injuries arising out of winter weather are reported in New York State.

Given that construction workers do a range of tasks outside in freezing temperatures and in dangerous snowy and icy conditions, the construction industry often reports a high rate of injuries in the winter.

Common Types of Injuries on Construction Sites Resulting from Wintry Weather

What types of winter injuries are most common for construction workers in New York? The following are among the more commonly cited injuries:

  • Hypothermia;

  • Distraction-related injuries due to a worker’s inability to focus because of the cold temperatures;

  • Tool-related and machine-related injuries resulting from the worker’s inability to properly handle a tool or machine because of stiff fingers and joints caused by the cold;

  • Slips and falls on the same level;

  • Falls from higher levels to lower levels;

  • Frostbite;

  • Trench foot;

  • Chilblains; and

  • General cold stress.

What is cold stress? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains: “Workers who are exposed to extreme cold or work in cold environments may be at risk of cold stress . . . . Whenever temperatures drop decidedly below normal, and as wind speed increases, heat can more rapidly leave your body. These weather-related conditions may lead to serious health problems.”

Contact Our New York Construction Accident Lawyer


Were you injured on a construction site due to cold weather exposure or due to a hazard resulting from snow, ice, or sleet? You may have multiple options to seek financial compensation. Most New York construction workers who are injured can be eligible to seek workers’ compensation coverage. In addition, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against your employer under New York Labor Law if your employer’s negligence caused your injury. Our New York construction accident attorneys can provide you with more information. Contact Leitner Varughese, PLLC, today to discuss your case.

bottom of page