Summer is finally here again, and many people are taking time off to travel, lounge by the pool, and get some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Unfortunately, the arrival of summer also means an increase in the number of workplace injuries for workers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job injuries peak in June, July, and August. Even with proper workplace safety guidelines in place, some workers may find themselves with an injury or illness that can keep them from working while they recover. Summer work-related injuries can be serious, even life-threatening in some cases, and employees injured on the job have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim.
What are the most common summer workplace injuries? And what industries are at a higher risk for workplace accidents in the summer? Let’s take a look, and also review what you should do if you are injured on the job in the summer—or, for that matter, at any time during the year.
Most Common Summer Workplace Injuries
Unlike other seasons, there are several illnesses or injuries that occur or peak during the summer months, mostly related to an increase in outdoor temperatures. The most common summer workplace injuries are:
- Heat Stroke: Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness and can be fatal if care isn’t administered in time. Heat stroke occurs when your body cannot regulate its temperature and your sweating mechanism fails. Heat stroke can lead to organ failure, permanent disability, and death without emergency treatment.
- Dehydration: Dehydration is a real risk for workers who are performing their jobs outside in the summer heat. Dehydration happens when your body loses more fluid than it takes in and can lead to cramps, fatigue, dizziness, and confusion.
- Slip and Falls: While slips and falls are common workplace accidents year-round, there is an increase in occurrences over the summer. This may be due to workers using ladders and can be connected to dehydration, too. When someone is dehydrated, they can experience dizziness leading to a slip and fall.
- Car Accidents: Car accidents increase not only for workers, but also for all drivers, during the summer. June, July, and August bring an increase in travel and road construction and, subsequently, an increase in vehicular accidents.
- Sunburn and Skin Cancer: It’s no secret that spending too much time in the sun can lead to skin conditions like sunburn. Repeated prolonged exposure can even lead to skin cancer. Anyone working outside should wear sunscreen and protective clothing to help prevent skin-related injuries or illnesses.
If you experience an injury at work this summer, or any time of year, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to help you navigate the time after your injury and provides compensation for lost wages and medical expenses. Some insurance companies may deny workers’ comp claims so it’s important to have legal representation by your side as soon as possible after your injury.
Highest Risk Industries for Summer Work-Related Injury or Illness
Any occupation or job where workers are exposed to the elements, like extreme heat, or work inside without proper climate control are at a higher risk for summer workplace accidents and injuries. Some of the most common industries with affected workers include:
- Roofers and other construction workers: This should come as no surprise, especially considering construction workers are at a greater risk for injury year-round than other workers. Roofers especially are at risk. Roof temperatures can be anywhere from 5 to 20 degrees hotter than the temperature on the ground. Construction workers and roofers can experience heat exhaustion, heat rash, heat stroke, and dehydration.
- Agriculture workers and landscapers: Like construction workers, agriculture workers and landscapers work in extreme conditions. In addition to being exposed to the heat, these types of jobs also require heavy physical labor. Without proper hydration or sun protection, workers can experience heat-related illnesses and injuries.
- Delivery truck drivers: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is an increase in car accidents during the summer months. Between road construction, inexperienced teen drivers, traffic congestion, and impaired driving, delivery truck drivers may find themselves at a greater risk for an injury accident. Delivery drivers also can work up quite a sweat delivering packages and can experience heat-related illnesses that are common with construction and agricultural workers.
- Seasonal workers: Often overlooked, seasonal workers are at risk for injuries in the summer months. Many seasonal workers are inexperienced and may not have the proper education on how to stay safe while working outside. Amusement Park employees, lifeguards, golf course maintenance workers, and anyone with a seasonal summer job can be at risk. Business owners should do their part to help protect workers from summer injuries.
If you’ve experienced a workplace injury, you may be overwhelmed on how to navigate the workers’ compensation claims process. If your company has workers’ compensation insurance, you have the right to file a claim to receive compensation to cover your lost wages and medical bills. Workers’ comp insurance companies have a team of legal experts working for them and you deserve the same representation. Consult with a workers’ comp attorney after your injury accident to understand your rights.
What to do if You are Injured on the Job in the Summer
Getting hurt at work can be a stressful and confusing time. The important thing to remember is the workers’ compensation system in Pennsylvania is designed to protect you after an accident. Here are the steps to take if you are injured on the job this summer or any time of year:
- Notify your employer: The first step is to notify your employer of your injury. If you do not report your injury accident, your workers’ comp claim may be denied. As soon as possible, inform your supervisor or human resources department of the accident, preferably in writing. Detail as much as possible and ask for a copy of the report.
- Seek medical attention: No matter how minor the injury, ask your employer for their approved list of workers’ comp physicians where you can be seen. Under workers’ comp law, you are required to see someone on their list for the first 90 days after your injury. Some injuries may not immediately be apparent so it’s important to have your health documented by a physician immediately after your injury.
- Document your recovery: Workers’ comp cases can get complicated, and you may not remember every detail if you do not document your recovery. Write down the dates and times of each medical appointment and ask for copies of your medical records and medical documentation from your physician. If the insurance company initially denies your claim, supporting documentation can be key during the Claim Petition process.
- Consult with a personal injury and workers’ comp attorney: Insurance companies will do most anything they can to minimize their financial burden during a workers’ comp case. Having an experienced Central Pennsylvania attorney on your side can help you understand your rights and get you the benefits you are owed.
If you are injured on the job and must miss work to recover, attend doctors’ appointments, or if your injuries limit your ability to return to work, you have the right to file a workers’ comp claim. Work related accidents can cause days, weeks, and even months of lost wages and piles of medical bills. Don’t let the stress get to you – let an experienced, reputable, and aggressive workers’ compensation lawyer help you after your injury.
Lancaster’s Workers’ Compensation Law Firm
At Georgelis Injury Law Firm, we understand the stress someone goes through after a workplace accident. In addition to the physical injuries, many workers worry about how to make ends meet while they are out of work. Workers’ compensation is meant to help you fill the gap while you recover. Our team of lawyers and paralegals is ready to help you after your injury accident.
Many summer workers are doing jobs that help keep our communities thriving and moving forward – construction teams, agricultural workers, delivery drivers, seasonal workers, and more. We will fight hard for you and give you the respect and attention you deserve after an injury. Our team is ready to help you fight for the workers’ comp benefits you are owed to cover your lost wages and medical bills.
We offer free consultations, never charge a fee for our time, and are only compensated when we win your case. Contact us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW or reach out online for a no-obligation discussion of your case.