The official start of summer is almost here! It’s a time for vacations, outdoor activities and a lot of family fun in the sun. But, that sun brings with it the heat of summer, and a rise in workplace injuries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a major spike in reported heat related workplace injuries through the months of June, July, August and September. As our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Georgelis Injury Law Firm, P.C. handle the spike in cases this time of year, we thought it’s a good time to remind everyone of the:
- Types of Workplace Injuries Seen in Summer Months
- Seasonal Jobs that Contribute to the Increase in Workplace Injuries
- Steps to Take When Injured on the Job
Types of Workplace Injuries Seen in Summer Months
Pennsylvania summer months see high temperatures in the 80s or above. Without proper hydration, dehydration can happen quickly. Symptoms of dehydration include dizziness or lightheadedness, headaches and sluggishness. Workers performing their duties in the heat should take adequate breaks, consume plenty of liquids—preferably those with electrolytes—and be attentive to the onset of any of these symptoms.
The lawyers at Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C. who dedicate themselves to helping Lancaster’s hurt workers recover the compensation they deserve, see many injuries occur when employees are performing their job duties in hot conditions. For instance, the symptoms listed above can compromise the safety of workers, especially those with jobs involving physical labor, leading to neck pain, low back injuries, herniated disks, rotator cuff injuries and knee and ankle cartilage, tendon and ligament injuries.
Similarly, heat stroke can happen in the heat of the summer months. The heat may cause a worker’s body to lose control of its ability to regulate their internal temperature. When someone’s body heat rises to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or above, they can experience fevers or even become unconscious. Again, this makes those who perform physical jobs susceptible to injury from construction equipment, heavy machinery, lifting, bending, twisting and falls. Wearing light clothing, drinking plenty of water and taking breaks in an air conditioned area can help protect workers against heat stroke.
Outdoor jobs leave many workers vulnerable to the damaging elements of the sun. Sunburns can lead to skin cancer over time, but more immediately, a bad burn can lead to chills or a fever, and in rare cases—shock.
The number of workplace slip and falls increase in the summer months. Summer storms lead to slick walkways, and inappropriate footwear geared towards the warmer temperatures can both increase the risk of workplace falls.
Motor vehicle accidents spike over the summer as well. Construction companies often schedule road work over the summer because of the warmer weather. Negligent, careless and reckless drivers, along with improperly trained seasonal workers, can lead to an increase in workplace injuries.
Under OSHA (Occupational Health & Safety Administration) Law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards. This includes protecting workers from extreme heat. An employer with workers who are exposed to high temperatures should establish a complete heat illness prevention program.
Seasonal Jobs that Contribute to the Increase in Workplace Injuries
There are plenty of jobs that open over the summer months, many of which include heavy lifting, little shade and unexpected hazards. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the following are high risk for heat related illnesses during the summer months:
- Agricultural Jobs
- Factory Workers
- Construction Jobs
- Concert or Events Jobs
- Outdoor painters
These are great jobs to pull in additional income over the summer months, but they can also result in some serious injuries. Many of them require heavy lifting which leads to back injuries. Others put workers in the path of danger from distracted drivers. Whatever the case may be, many seasonal employees assume they are not eligible for the same benefits as year-round employees. However, workers’ compensation insurance is meant to cover all employees—even those who work part-time or seasonally.
Steps to Take When Injured on a Job
It’s a general rule that workers are eligible to gain workers’ compensation for most work-related injuries. This means that the injury would have to have been caused by, or aggravated by, work duties or the condition of the workplace.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury on the job, call Georgelis First at 1-800-HURT-NOW. You will want an experienced attorney on your side to help you with your claim. Our attorneys at Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C. have won over 99% of our cases and helped our clients recover over $50,000,000.00…and we can help you too! Give us a call today and we’ll answer your questions right away. And as always, there’s never a fee unless we get money for you!