Laborer Dies While Clearing Snow After a Blizzard—Massachusetts
Massachusetts Case Report: 18MA031
Release Date: February 2019
On January 5, 2018, a 60-year-old laborer died while clearing snow in the early morning after a blizzard. At the time of the incident, the laborer was operating a snow blower to clear snow from a sidewalk. The laborer suffered a myocardial infarction and collapsed to the ground.
Key contributing factors identified in this investigation include:
- Pre-existing medical conditions;
- Extreme cold;
- Early morning; and
- Working alone.
Massachusetts FACE Program concluded that, to help prevent similar
occurrences, employers should:
- Consider factors that may impact the risk of acute cardiac events such as time of day, physical demands of the task, and environmental conditions when scheduling tasks.
- Ensure workers in cold environments are adequately warm by developing protocols to prevent cold stress.
- Consider developing policies that prevent working alone in certain situations.
- Train workers on basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and consider having an automated external defibrillator (AED) available at work sites and provide training for workers on their use.
- Educate all workers about the work conditions that might increase their risk of cardiovascular disease and the signs of cardiac arrest.
Laborer Dies While Clearing Snow After a Blizzardpdf icon [PDF 1,060 KB]