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Summer creates unique job hazards for construction professionals

Jun 25, 2024 |

The summer months often see a boom in construction activity. While crews generally work year-round, the warm season often sees a lot of development efforts and home remodeling projects. Construction workers can look forward to plenty of demand for their time and services during the summer months.

Unfortunately, the summer also sees an increase in certain job hazards. Construction work often means performing a significant portion of one’s duties outdoors regardless of weather conditions. Working outdoors inspires certain safety and health concerns that might lead to a need to file workers’ compensation claims during the summer months.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Working out in the beating sun for hours is a recipe for dehydration and hyperthermia. Even those working inside buildings could experience extreme heat. Someone installing ducts for air conditioning in a client’s attic could experience temperatures in the 120°s. If workers don’t have shade, plenty of water and regular brakes, they might be at risk of overheating on the job. For some people, the earliest signs of a negative reaction to heat include a sense of fatigue or muscle cramps.

Exhaustion and heat stroke are both dangerous in their own right. There are also the potential consequences of experiencing a debilitating heat reaction at a construction site. Someone could collapse and fall from a significant elevation. They might also drop tools, which could lead to someone below getting hurt. Severe dehydration is also a concern.

Exposure to the elements

Those working outside also have to consider how sunshine could endanger their health. Ultraviolet radiation can cause sunburns and eventually cancer. Workers may also have to worry about illness caused by exposure to insects and other wildlife. Even plants can cause illnesses in some cases. Finally, storms can turn an otherwise safe outdoor construction site into a very dangerous place. The faster a storm blows in, the more likely workers are to be exposed to winds, driving rain and even lightning.

Particularly when a worker requires medical treatment and time away from work to recover, they may require workers’ compensation benefits. Filing a workers’ compensation claim can help a construction worker recover their medical costs and lost wages if summer hazards lead to a work injury.