Depending on where you live, you may anticipate participating in more outdoor activities as the days grow longer and warmer. However, we also see an uptick in certain kinds of injuries. For example, more people on the water in boats usually means more boat accidents and drownings. Likewise, campers may suffer from the heat or from insect and animal bites. Interestingly, these same scenarios hold true for certain workers. In this article, we will explore five common summertime work-related risks that may lead to work-related injuries – and workers’ compensation claims.
#1. Heat Stroke
Any workplace can have environmental hazards. When that workplace is the great outdoors, the same hot weather that makes us want to go swimming becomes one of many summertime work-related risks we face. In fact, the summer heat also can cause problems in workplaces that are warm year-round.
Heatstroke occurs when your body overheats. Symptoms include altered sweating, headache, rapid breather, and altered mental state. Untreated, the condition can cause serious damage to your brain, heart, muscles, and other organs.
The danger is particularly great for construction workers and road workers. Workers’ compensation insurance may cover people who suffer heat stroke or other weather-related conditions while working.
#2. Increased Outside Activity
Certain work activities like the ones mentioned in #1 increase when the weather warm and dry. The spike in activity generally leads to an increase in summertime work-related risks. Reasons for this increase include:
- More vehicles and heavy equipment are in use.
- New employees and interns may have little or no work experience.
- Safety protocols may be overlooked in the rush to get work completed.
- Younger workers tend to get injured more than adult workers.
Here again, workers’ compensation laws may apply if you suffer a work-related injury.
#3. Insect Work-Related Risks
Employees who spend more time working outdoors face some unusual summertime work-related risks. For example, insects may not seem like a big deal, but at least 83 workers died from insect bites from 2003 to 2010.
Workers also may suffer the following injuries:
- Serious and even fatal allergic reactions,
- Falls or vehicle accidents caused when an insect distracts the worker,
- Diseases like West Nile virus or Lyme disease.
Reporting insect bites to your boss as soon as possible may help preserve your workers’ compensation rights.
#4. Vehicle Accidents
In #2 above, we looked at increased outside activity, which is directly connected to this summertime work-related risk. This may seem odd, especially in a city where extreme cold and snow make road travel hazardous in the winter.
However, studies have shown that you are more likely to have an accident in the summer as opposed to the winter.
And vehicle accidents can lead to a wide range of injuries, from soft tissue to severe head trauma to death.
When someone is injured in a motor vehicle accident while performing work for their boss, they likely are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
#5. Water-Related Activities
Some risks are associated more with specific industries than others. For example, the term ‘water-related’ activities may lead you to think of work-related risks associated with people who work on boats.
However, anyone who works near or with water could get hurt, including:
- Dockworkers could fall into the water;
- White-collar workers could slip on wet floors or pools of water;
- Electricians or construction workers could be electrocuted when power tools come into contact with water.
Other industries that could be at risk are landscape workers, bridge workers, and entertainment venue staff.
Have You Been Hurt by Any of These Summertime Work-Related Risks?
If so, compensation may be available. Discuss your potential claim with a qualified attorney to learn more about your options.
At Osvaldo Rodriguez, PC, we have over 20 years’ experience helping clients with nursing home injuries and neglect. Schedule a free initial consultation with Osvaldo Rodriguez, a lawyer who has dedicated his career to assisting people like you. Just call us at 708-716-3441 or fill out the Contact form on our website. We represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, including Chicago, Addison, Bellwood, Bensenville, Berwyn, Chicago, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, and all of Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, Dupage County and Will County.
Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.