There's more to worry about than just the heat when you're at work.
Workplace hazards can differ between the seasons. For example, heat stress and heat-related illnesses are common for those exposed to the sun during work in the summer. But heat exposure isn't the only hazard that can cause a work injury or illness in the hot summer months.
According to a report by EHS Today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) encourages employers to address workplace hazards that lead to more injuries and fatalities during the summer months.
"OSHA encourages employers to develop safety and health programs, hold safety stand-downs and toolbox talks, and conduct daily safety meetings to discuss common hazards," said OSHA Regional Administrator Kimberly Stille. "Employers are required to provide workplace safety training to improve employees' ability to identify, evaluate, and effectively prevent safety and health hazards on the job."
While taking measures to prevent on-the-job injuries is important, work accidents still happen daily in Ohio and across the nation. Injured workers deserve workers' compensation benefits, but navigating the workers' compensation process on your own can be difficult. In addition, it's common for workers' compensation insurance companies to question the severity of injuries or argue certain types of medical treatment aren't reasonable and necessary.
That's why if you suffered a work injury, the best way to protect your rights is to talk to an experienced workers' compensation attorney.
Here are six workplace hazards workers may face during the summer months.
More workers are injured in the summer than in any season. Workplace falls are common throughout the year, but they tend to increase in the summer when there is an influx of construction projects. While working long hours in hot temperatures, heat exhaustion and dehydration are likely to occur. A symptom of dehydration is fatigue, which can ultimately lead to a fall.
2. Trenching and Excavation
A priority goal of OSHA is to reduce accidents involving trenching and excavation, which is the process of digging out a trench. The most significant risk to workers is a trench collapse. Summer rainfall weakens the trench soil, increasing the risk of a cave-in.
3. Struck by Object and Vehicles
About 75 percent of struck-by fatalities include heavy equipment like trucks and cranes, which are more prevalent when construction picks up in the summer. A lack of housekeeping and proper training can lead to struck-by accidents. Vehicles and equipment should always be checked to ensure they operate safely, and operators should be trained appropriately.
4. Electrical Hazards
Engineers, electricians, and office workers may be exposed to electrical hazards in their work environments. Electric shock, fires, and explosions can result from these hazards. The four main types of electrical injuries you can suffer happen as a result of falls, burns, electric shock, and electrocution—which in the worst-case scenario can be fatal.
5. Workplace Violence
Any threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at work is considered workplace violence. It can include physical violence, harassment, and intimidation physically or verbally. It is the third-leading cause of fatal workplace injuries in the United States.
6. Agricultural Hazards
Workers in agricultural operations face many risks in their work environment. Grain bins, silos, chemicals, hazardous noise, and heat are all hazards they may be exposed to. Tractors can overturn, crushing anything or anyone around it. Silos and grain bins can suck a worker under, causing suffocation.
Know your rights if you're hurt on the job
Whether you work in an office, a field, or a construction site, you deserve worker's compensation benefits if you were injured on the job. At Hochman & Plunkett Co., LPA, our experienced workers' compensation lawyers can answer your questions and clearly explain your legal rights and options. We have more than 150 years of combined experience and know how to handle complex cases. Contact us for a free consultation to see how our law firm can help you. We have offices in Dayton, Cincinnati, Springfield, and Troy and handle cases throughout Ohio.