As you are aware, temperatures will dip to well below freezing in the Lehigh Valley. Whether you live in Easton, Bethlehem, Allentown, the Lehigh Valley or across the river in Phillipsburg, Hackettstown, or Northern New Jersey, you will experience frigid weather. Many workers will be forced to bare the cold weather and work outside. Some employers will be mindful of their employees and make sure the workers have proper clothing and dress warm. Also, employers can provide heaters or other equipment to keep workers warm. Unfortunately, if you work in the construction industry, you will be forced to work outside. Many jobs require workers to use their hands and must be able to use fine manipulation of their fingers. Wearing gloves can often stop the worker from being able to complete the job that requires pressing small bottoms or using smaller hand-held tools. One common workers compensation injury that occurs when temperatures dip to zero degrees is frostbite. Too often, workers are required to maintain a certain work pace and will not use the proper gloves in an attempt to get the job done. An exposed hand in severe temperatures, can cause work injuries to the fingers and hand. In the event the fingers or hand suffer severe frostbite, amputations can occur. Depending on which state these injuries occur will dictate the remedy to the workers hand.
In New Jersey, a worker who suffers a work injury would be examined by two separate doctors and receive money for any permanent loss to the fingers or hands based on a workers compensation chart. So injuries occurring in Phillipsburg, Warren County, Somerville, or Norther New Jersey, this would be manner in which the worker would receive benefits. On the contrary, Pennsylvania would not use a chart, but would pay for any wage loss the worker suffered as a result of the frost bite.
THE FOREGOING IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE AND IS A GENERAL DISCUSSION OF THE LAW. IF YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC LEGAL QUESTION, PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE AND SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY.