21 Aug, 2013
Many types of workers, including construction workers, farmers and painters, are required to spend lots of time outside in the summer heat. This means that business owners need to take extra care to make sure their employees remain safe while on the job. This following list contains four summer-specific work hazards for business owners to keep in mind, as well as advice on how to protect employees from each of them.
Heat is the most obvious summertime work hazard, and it poses a real danger for workers who are required to spend long hours outside. Workers who are exposed to high temperatures are at high risk for many heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke, heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion and severe dehydration. Workers and business owners alike should be educated on recognizing, preventing and treating heat-related illnesses. Employees should be encouraged to drink water regularly, and fresh water should always be available for them. Frequent breaks in air conditioning or shade are also important because they allow the body to cool down. Business owners should also reduce the amount of labor required during the hottest part of the day by having work done in the early morning or nighttime hours instead.
Though closely linked to the heat, the sun creates a different set of dangers to those who work outside in the summertime. Summer is when the sun is closest to earth, which means that its UV rays are at their strongest. UV rays are the cause of sunburns and, in more severe cases, skin cancer. Employees should always use sunscreen with a high SPF when working outdoors. Sweat can rinse sunscreen off and interfere with its potential benefits, so it needs to be reapplied often. Wearing hats and sunglasses with UV protection is also highly recommended.
In the summer, a whole host of creatures come out that aren’t around in winter, including mosquitoes, ticks and venomous snakes. Mosquito bites carry the potential risk of spreading diseases, such as West Nile Virus. Ticks, which are common in wooded areas, can cause lyme disease in people who are bitten. People who do their work outside also risk encounters with poisonous spiders, snakes or insects whose bites can be dangerous or fatal. Employees should apply insect repellant in order to ward off bug bites. They should also be able to recognize venomous or other dangerous creatures that inhabit the work area.
A final summertime hazard is the extreme weather conditions that often crop up when it is hot, such as storms, wildfires and floods. Employees who are working outside during the summer should pay close attention to weather forecasts and the conditions outside. By removing themselves from dangerous environments, workers can avoid the risk of getting struck by lightning, inhaling smoke from wildfires or getting trapped in a flood.
If you work outside in the summer or have employees who do, call La Familia Insurance at 888-751-7511. We can give you more info about Dallas commercial insurance and how to protect your employees and business.