The rather unusual Winter Storm Grayson was "one of the most intense western Atlantic winter storms in decades," according to the Weather Channel. It caused blizzard conditions and flooding in many areas along the East Coast. It dropped inches of snow on Connecticut and neighboring states.
Weather scientists refer to the phenomenon of "bombogenesis" to describe what happened: a massive drop in atmospheric pressure with the collision of cold and warm air over the ocean, causing a rapid increase in the storm's strength. By the time it reached the East Coast, Winter Storm Grayson was a full-fledged bomb cyclone.
Even without the occurrence of such a massive winter storm, the months of snow and ice are a time of special danger for many workers in the production, transportation, and material moving industries, according to the Manufacturing Business Technology publication.
In fact, as Corey Berghoefer writes, these industries carry among the highest costs of any industry for workers' compensation.
Prevent Injuries from Less-Than-Ideal Winter Conditions
In the face of Winter Storm Grayson, there are likely more than a few transportation workers braving the elements to get the job done despite the risks. Those who aren't working will be back at it soon enough. And the roads aren't likely to be in great condition any time soon.
Berghoefer lays out a number of precautions that can prevent worker injury because of poor winter conditions, including creating a culture of safety that discourages short cuts and being proactive in addressing areas in which workers are prone to slipping or tripping and falling, a prominent cause of workplace deaths.
First Responders Battling Winter Storm Grayson
Speaking of braving the elements, there's another group of workers - first responders - whose very job it is to help people affected by storms like Grayson. First responders face much of the same type of dangers, at least in terms of bad weather conditions that can lead to injury or worse, as those in the transportation industry.
All of this is a reminder that, as Bergheofer writes, winter may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most hazardous.