With summer temperatures rising and outdoor work increasing, it’s essential for businesses to consider strategies to keep their workers safe. As an indicator of how serious the threats of heat-related illnesses are, OHSA recently launched a National Emphasis Program to help address these hazards. Other risks of working outdoors include those from the sun, wildlife and insects.
Employees’ injuries and illnesses related to summer weather and working outdoors are a frequent source of workers’ compensation claims. But there are steps your business can take to help reduce these exposures. Below are some tips to consider to help reduce injuries, illnesses and workers’ compensation claims.
Implement Training Programs
Several businesses employ new or seasonal workers during the summer. These employees may not be aware of the risks they could encounter on the job. In order to help prevent injuries, your organization can implement a safety training program for both new and returning seasonal employees.
Be Aware of Heat, Sun and Weather Hazards
Being outdoors can expose your employees to hazardous natural conditions. Taking the appropriate steps can help reduce the risks associated with the heat, sun and severe weather.
- Heat safety—When the thermometer rises, encourage your workers to hydrate, seek shade when possible, wear suitable clothing and take breaks to help avoid overheating.
- Sun safety—To help protect against the sun, remind your employees about using sunscreen with adequate sun protection factor (SPF) and gear that may block harmful ultraviolet rays (e.g., hats and sunglasses).
- Severe weather safety—Severe weather events can occur during the summer months. Make sure you have proper protocols, shelters and warning systems in place so your workers do not get stranded outside during lightning, hail, strong winds or other potentially dangerous weather.
Take Precautions Against Wildlife, Ticks and Insects
Summer can also increase your employee’s interactions with wildlife and insects. Educate them about hazardous animals (e.g., snakes) and how to react if they encounter them. It may also be beneficial to have a procedure for workers to report specific wildlife sightings. Additionally, providing training on how to take precautions against ticks and other insects (e.g., wasps and mosquitos) may help reduce bites and stings and the illnesses or allergic reactions they may cause.
Scheduling enough workers to meet your business’s needs is also a technique that can promote safety. Many employees take vacations over the summer months and being short-staffed can lead to accidents due to rushing or overexertion.
For more information or to discuss your insurance needs, contact Rising Star Insurance Group in Richardson, Texas, today.
This blog is intended for informational and educational use only. It is not exhaustive and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your insurance professional for further information.