6 Summer Workplace Hazards You Need to Know
Here are the most common ways workers are injured in the summer months
Work injuries rise during the summer months of June, July, and August. Hot days increase the risk of heat illness, but sky-high temps aren't the only thing that makes summer more dangerous for workers in Pennsylvania and across the nation. According to federal data, risks that are present year-round can lead to more injuries in the summer.
Recently, the work safety publication "EHS Today" reported on summer hazards that, in addition to heat, are most likely to cause employees severe injuries, including:
- Eye injuries.
- Hearing loss.
- Knee or ankle trauma.
- Broken bones in the hand, wrist, and legs.
- Neck, shoulder, and back pain.
In Pennsylvania, employees injured on the job have the right to file for workers' compensation benefits to help pay for medical expenses and a percentage of lost wages. Unfortunately, navigating these unfamiliar waters can be a challenge, and it only takes one small mistake to sabotage your claim. As a result, it's in your interest to talk to an experienced workers' compensation attorney about your legal rights and options during a free consultation.
Summertime work hazards (that aren't heat)
In 2020, more than 122,000 work injuries were reported in Pennsylvania. To reduce accidents and injuries, here are some summer workplace hazards EHS Today says to watch out for:
Falls. Falling is among the most common causes of severe workplace injuries and deaths. Types of falls include:
- A slip and fall on a wet or oily surface.
- A trip on debris, rolled carpet, loose wires, etc.
- Falling from scaffolding. Scaffold accidents are a significant source of worker injury and death in major cities.
- Falling from ladders. Ladder accidents are a risk all year, but more are reported during the summer. Common factors contributing to falls from ladders include unsteady ladder position, misuse of equipment, lack of maintenance, slippery surfaces, and contact with electricity.
Trenches and other open pits. Large pits, holes, and trenches are common on construction sites. They may be dug for basement excavation, cut and fill excavation, trench digging, and dredging. Watch your step, stay alert, and observe all site hazard warnings to avoid injury falling into a hole.
Struck by object or vehicle. Workers are at a greater risk of being struck by a moving or falling object. Some of the most common items to strike workers and cause injuries are cranes, heavy equipment, vehicles, concrete or masonry walls under construction, and flying objects. Items sometimes go speeding through workspaces due to a mishap with a defective power tool, poorly maintained equipment, or misuse.
Workplace violence. When the weather gets heated, so do some people. Heat stress increases the risk that people may lash out violently. Some of the most common causes of workplace violence come from outside of a company. Strangers and customers are among those most likely to start trouble at someone else's work. Creating a company violence prevention plan can help reduce risks to employee safety.
Electrocution. With more work being done outside during the summer, the chance a worker will make contact with outside sources of electrocution such as power lines and HVAC systems increases. Always wear the correct PPE when working with or near electricity, and stay focused.
Injured workers have legal rights. We can fight for them.
At Vellner Law, PC, we proudly serve injured workers located throughout the Lehigh Valley. We have the knowledge, resources, and experience to help you through the Pennsylvania workers' compensation process, whether you're just starting your claim or your claim for workers' compensation benefits has been denied.
If you were injured while on the job in Pennsylvania, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced workers' compensation attorney from our law offices in Allentown or Bethlehem. We look forward to seeing how we can help you.