For most people, summer is the perfect time to go on vacation, hit the beach and have fun in the sun. However, for California workers, warm weather can increase the risk of certain job-related injuries and illnesses.
Common summertime workplace injuries and illnesses
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. workers are more likely to be in workplace accidents during the summer than any other season. Here are some of the top summertime risks that could result in a workers’ compensation claim.
Fall injuries can occur year-round, but factors like increased construction activity, outdoor work and storms make falls more common during the summer months. To avoid falls, workers should use proper footwear and fall protection.
Bugs such as mosquitoes, ticks and fleas often carry diseases. To prevent insect bites, workers should wear clean, light-colored clothing that covers their limbs, avoid wearing cologne or perfumed soaps and wear insect repellent with DEET.
Motor vehicle accidents
More people are on the road during the summer, which can lead to more car accidents. To reduce the risk of crashes, employers should reinforce vehicle safety programs, review employee driving records and inspect company vehicles for safety issues. Employees should also wear seat belts while operating vehicles.
Sun exposure increases the risk of skin cancer. To shield themselves from the sun, employees should wear protective clothing, sunglasses and hats. They should also apply strong sunscreen as needed throughout the day.
Performing intense physical labor in hot weather can cause heat illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Signs of heat illness include:
- Heavy sweating
- Cold, clammy, pale skin
- Rapid, weak pulse
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle cramps
To keep workers safe during hot weather, employers should provide access to water and shade, schedule regular breaks and monitor their employees for signs of heat illness.