The months of summer can bring sunshine, fun and relaxation. However, they can also pose serious health hazards for workers in a variety of industries. What’s more, many employers and workers fail to recognize the severity of these hazards since summer is perceived as a milder season than winter. By recognizing the potential dangers, you can go a long way toward protecting themselves from injury.
What are some common summer dangers?
Physical laborers know firsthand that summer can provide very difficult working conditions. Some of the dangers that workers face in June, July and August include:
Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can result in heatstroke. This is when your body overheats without the subsequent chance to cool down. In severe cases, it can cause organ damage and death.
Without adequate hydration, your body begins to shut down. It is crucial to replace any fluids that your body sweats out while working. Dehydration is usually mild, but severe cases may require hospitalization.
- Exposure to chemicals
Many outdoor projects are scheduled for summer. As a result, workers – particularly construction workers—may face the threat of exposure to hazardous substances. Some common examples include pesticides, asbestos, heavy metals and acids.
- Melanoma and other skin cancers
Working in the intense sun for hours on end can lead to long-term skin conditions such as carcinoma and melanoma. Though sunscreen can prevent skin cancer, it is not effective if not administered regularly and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
These dangers lead to serious injuries and even permanent disabilities that may derail your career and lead to expensive medical bills.
Prevention is key – and it’s easy
Fortunately, employers and workers alike can take some simple precautions. Adequate rest breaks that comply with federal regulations are crucial. So is hydration and the chance to cool down. You should also listen to your body and what it is telling you. If you do not feel well, your health should not have to come second to your work duties.