Summer will soon be here and outdoor workers are can be seen everywhere, performing landscaping, outdoor maintenance, and other jobs that could not be completed during the colder months. This is a good time for these employees and their employers to recognize the importance of staying safe while working outdoors. Certain types of work are more hazardous than others, but all companies that perform outdoor work should hold meetings to go over safety basics.
The Risks of Working Outside
Working in heat, humidity, and under the sun’s strong rays can be dangerous if the workers are not prepared. Those who are older or have medical concerns, such as respiratory problems, might be at an even higher risk. Machinery such as lawn mowers, weed whackers, and construction vehicles can all cause accidents, especially if employees are not trained, or if the equipment is not in proper working condition.
Many homeowners perform renovations in the spring and summer months, and hire companies that use ladders, scaffolds, and other tools. This can lead to falls and other serious accidents. Farm and construction workers who spend a lot of time outdoors can also find themselves in dangerous situations.
Training and Preparation
Companies that take the time to educate their workers about these risks have better safety records than others. This includes teaching proper procedures, using properly functioning tools, and providing safety equipment. If chemicals are being used, there should be clear instructions for their use, which can be found on their safety data sheets.
Working long hours in the sun requires awareness and planning. No worker should head out to work without liquids to keep them hydrated. Water is best, since coffee, tea, and soda can be dehydrating. Applying sunscreen and wearing hats is also recommended. Sturdy shoes will protect the feet better than flimsy sneakers and wearing sandals on the job should be avoided.
Any food that is brought to jobsites should be kept at the right temperature, since food can spoil quickly in the heat. This is also the time of year for allergies to act up and using protective equipment such as goggles, glasses, and masks can help stave off allergic reactions. Outdoor workers are also prone to insect bites, which can be life-threatening, so it is vital to use insect repellent.
It seems that companies are always under pressure to complete their work, but this does not mean that employees should not take breaks. Heat-related symptoms such as confusion, nausea, dizziness, and headaches can be very serious and could lead to heat stroke or other illnesses. Workers should have scheduled breaks out of the sun, so they can hydrate and rest. Scheduling work during decreased sun exposure times proves to be better for everyone and more productive in the long run.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP Advocate for Injured Outdoor Workers
If you suffered injuries from working outdoors for your company, contact the knowledgeable Cherry Hill workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP. We will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve. For a free case evaluation, call us at 856-761-3773 or complete an online form. Our office is in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where we represent injured workers in South Jersey and City of Camden.