Summertime is often full of fun and sunny weather. But the relaxed season can also bring heightened workers’ compensation risks. Brushing up on summer safety tips can help keep workers safe.
Read on to learn more about summertime workers’ compensation risks and summer safety tips to reduce exposure to these hazards.
Heightened Workers’ Compensation Risks in the Summertime
To reduce common summertime workers’ compensation claims, keep an eye on these risks:
Concerns about heat stroke and heat exhaustion increase during the hot summer months. Outside workers may be at greater risk, but studies have found workers’ compensation losses increased across the board during the warmest months. A study found workplace injuries increased by 9% on days when the temperature exceeded 90 degrees F. The same study found injuries were up by 15% on days exceeding 100 degrees.
Driving and traveling-related exposures
Summer often brings more people to the roads and skies. Families take holidays during the summer months when school is on break, and the added travelers on the roads can increase the risks of traffic accidents. Drivers should be aware of additional traffic and congestion around popular tourist attractions. The roads approaching Disneyworld in Orlando, for example, start to back up several miles from the attraction during the busiest times of the year.
And for business travelers who fly for work, more airline passengers mean more delays. With more people traveling, there is also a heightened risk of exposure to communicable diseases. Even with fewer COVID-related concerns, contagious illnesses spread quickly in airplanes, buses, and trains.
Inexperienced seasonal workers
Many businesses are busier during the summer months, and so they hire seasonal help to cover the rush. But seasonal workers are often inexperienced, which can mean they are at greater risk of a workplace-related injury. Sometimes businesses hire high school students as summer help, and these young workers can also be at a greater risk of injury because of their general lack of workplace experience.
Storms and weather-related perils
Both the Atlantic hurricane season and wildfire season fall in the summer months. Catastrophic storms and wildfires can create several risks for workers. People who live or work in the path of these extreme weather events may need to evacuate or could suffer property damage or physical injury during the storm.
And workers who assist during or after catastrophic events can be in danger from a number of perils in the storm-damaged area. Medical personnel, insurance adjusters, police officers, firefighters, and other professionals often go to storm-ravaged areas to help people, putting themselves in potential danger.
Summer Safety Tips to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Claims
Try these summer safety tips:
Train workers to manage extreme weather
Employers need to teach employees extreme weather safety tips to handle the heat and humidity of the summer months. Offer training often and be sure to document your efforts. Don’t forget new and seasonal workers — they may have the least experience of everyone and need the training the most.
Talk with employees about risks
Bring up risks in team meetings and talk about new perils that arise in the hot weather. If employees operate machinery, discuss how hot weather changes operating abilities. For workers who are outside often, talk about how to reduce the chances of heat illness. And talk with everyone about the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness and how they can combat it.
Document policies and procedures regarding safety
Have thorough written documentation outlining safety procedures. Have the material available for employees and safety audits. Remember a policy is only as good as your documentation. Once you have written your safety policies and procedures, be sure to review and update them annually or more frequently if needed.
The Bottom Line
Stay safer this summer and reduce workers’ compensation claims by following summer safety tips. Our blog offers helpful information for independent agents and brokers featuring more great articles like this.
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