Summer Heat and Injury Claims – What You Can Do!
As the days become hotter and the mercury continues to rise, it is not a surprise that heat-related work accidents also increase. In fact a recent study has found a link between increased injury claims and hotter temperatures.
Industries at higher Risk
The research identified those who commonly work outdoors or in confined spaces including construction workers, farmers, emergency services officers and utility employees.
Fatigue and heat stress are major causes of injury during the summer months. They can reduce a worker’s performance and productivity, plus increase the chance of injury by reducing the ability to concentrate, recognise risks and communicate effectively.
They also found the types of injuries and illnesses that occurred on particularly hot days were also largely preventable and included incidents like falls, poisoning due to chemical exposure, occupational burns and heat stroke.
What can you do?
We know that many companies have heat-exposure policies and implement measures such as adjusting work hours, taking more breaks, providing good hydration and offering more flexible work arrangements. But your employer should also take steps to ensure the health and safety of yourself and colleagues.
- Drink water regularly, at least 200mL every 15-20 minutes
- Don’t drink energy or caffeinated drinks which can have a diuretic affect
- Wear appropriate clothing such as loose shirts with long sleeves, collars and long pants.
- Wear broad brimmed hats and sunglasses which meet Australian Standards for UV protection and slap on plenty of sunscreen
- Keep a look out for signs of heat stress in yourself and your colleagues
By taking these steps, employers can ensure a safe working environment and decrease workplace accidents.
Further information on working safely in the sun – be sunsmart
Find out more about worker’s compensation claims here