Whether you work in construction, landscaping, hospitality or any other industry that exposes you to the elements of nature, it’s crucial to be aware of the common work injuries that can occur during the summer months.
Recognizing the dangers you face in a summer workplace scenario gives you the ability to plan ahead and take precautions. Some of the most common risks include the following.
The summer months often come with scorching temperatures, which can lead to illnesses like heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Jobs that require working outdoors or in environments without proper air conditioning can be particularly vulnerable. To prevent heat-related illnesses, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and take regular breaks in shaded areas. It may also be wise to rehydrate with electrolytes throughout your work day.
Sunburn and skin damage
Extended sun exposure can lead to sunburn. Additionally, continuous exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause long-term skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. To protect yourself, wear broad-spectrum sunscreen, use protective clothing (such as long sleeves, hats and sunglasses) and seek shade whenever possible.
Slip and fall accidents
Workplaces with outdoor areas, such as construction sites or restaurants with patios, may see a rise in slip-and-fall accidents. Wet surfaces, uneven terrain and workplace debris can contribute to such accidents. It’s essential to keep walkways clear, use appropriate signage for slippery surfaces, wear slip-resistant footwear and maintain good housekeeping practices to minimize the risk.
Insect bites and stings
The warmer months also bring an abundance of insects, including bees, wasps, mosquitoes and ticks. Outdoor workers are at a higher risk of bites and stings, which can lead to allergic reactions or transmit diseases like Lyme disease or West Nile virus. Wear insect repellent, use appropriate clothing to cover exposed skin, inspect work areas for nests or hives and seek medical attention if bitten or stung.
It’s always wisest to be proactive about your workplace safety, but you also need to remember that workplace injuries – even when they’re weather-related – are generally covered under workers’ compensation. If you’re injured, take the time to find out more about what it takes to file a successful claim.