Summer is in full swing, and that means the temperatures are getting close to triple digits in some areas of Minnesota. Those types of temperatures usually aren’t problematic if you work in an air-conditioned building, but many jobs require employees to work outside in the sun for hours at a time. There are a number of different work injuries that pique during the hot summer months, and we’re going to explore five of the more common summer injuries in today’s blog. In Minnesota, we experience all four seasons, so these five types of injuries almost always spike in July and August.
Dehydration occurs when excessive amounts of water are lost from the body and the individual is not replenishing losses with water or other fluids. When it gets really hot out, a person loses a lot of liquid through sweat. Failing to stay hydrated can lead to a work injury because it affects your ability to concentrate, and it can cause you to pass out on the spot.
When your body heats up quickly and does not have the resources to cool down, you are at risk for hyperthermia and heat-related illnesses. Approximately 620 people die each year in the US as a result of heat-related illnesses like sunstroke or heat stroke. Try to get out of the sun at regular intervals to let your body cool down.
If you’re going to be on the job site in the sun for hours on end, remember to load up on sunscreen. Excessive direct sun exposure can lead to the development of skin cancer. If your workers’ compensation attorney can help prove that the skin cancer development was a direct result of your work, you may be eligible to seek compensation.
Although we mentioned above that Minnesota experiences all four seasons, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Minnesota has two seasons, winter and construction season.” The fact of the matter is that summer is a huge time for road and building construction, which means more workers are operating heavy machinery. This uptick in heavy equipment operation lends itself to workplace injuries.
Slips and Trips
You might think that slip and fall injuries are more common during the icy winter months, but people are generally more careful when they know the ground is slick. Falls are common injuries at road construction sites where rubble and debris is everywhere. If workers aren’t watching where they are going during the summer, they may end up falling and needing to file a workers’ compensation claim.