4 most common types of summer workplace injuries
While nearly any type of accident can occur at nearly any time, there are certain injuries that most commonly occur during the summer months. Construction workers or employees performing any type of work that is mainly completed outside in the elements must be acutely aware of the dangers that could be faced.
Here are the four most common categories of injury that can often occur during the hottest time of the year.
- Heat stroke: Also known as hyperthermia, this is a serious condition triggered by several factors including being exposed to extreme heat. Workers in the sun or those wearing multiple layers of protective clothing can quickly get overheated and suffer serious symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, throbbing headache and cramps. Employees are encouraged to take numerous breaks, work near the shade and stay hydrated.
- Dehydration: Speaking of staying hydrated, employees must remain vigilant in drinking enough water. Additionally, employers can be held liable for not providing adequate breaks or access to water when necessary. Workers might be suffering from dehydration if they notice increased thirst, decreased urine output, dark yellow urine, fainting spells, headache, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.
- Falls: Whether falling from height (falling from ladders or scaffolding, for example) or collapsing on a flat surface, injuries caused by falls can be devastating. Readers will have noticed that dizziness is a symptom of both heat stroke and dehydration. This loss of balance, fainting or blurred vision can lead to workers falling in any of the above examples. Broken bones, soft-tissue damage and head trauma can all result from a fall from any height.
- Vehicle accidents: We include it here simply due to the fact that many motorists ignore warnings and speed restrictions while driving through a work zone. While Southern California doesn’t typically experience severe season changes, summer months still see an uptick in road construction projects. Drivers who are speeding, driving recklessly or distracted – possibly even looking too closely at the construction projects going on around them – can become a road hazard and a danger to the men and women working so closely to the cars.
While these might be the four most common types of injuries workers might face over the summer months, it is crucial that employees at all times remain vigilant about their safety. Likewise, managers and supervisors must be aware of the dangers workers face and make a sincere effort to provide safety gear and adequate breaks. An injury due to the summer heat, toxic environment or lack of protection can directly lead to a workers’ compensation claim.