Stay Safe in the Summer Heat: Contractor Tips to Avoid Workers Compensation ClaimsAs a contractor, you work in many different weather conditions. From rain and snow to more dangerous conditions like extreme heat. Unfortunately, working in high temperatures without taking the right precautions can result in serious injuries and increase the number of workers’ compensation claims in Atlanta being filed.

It’s estimated that workers’ compensation insurance costs around $1,000 each year per employee for businesses. However, the cost of a claim is usually much higher, which can be financially challenging for smaller or even medium-sized contractors and business owners. It’s something that most businesses want to avoid, but the question is – how?

Working to protect workers from regular hazards is a good first step and knowing the best way to create a safe working environment in hot temperatures is essential during the warmer months of the year.

Keep reading and use the tips here to protect yourself and others when working in hot weather conditions.

Create a Written Plan

You need a written plan that outlines how to identify, prevent, and handle any type of heat-related injury and illness. Be sure that everyone has a copy of the plan and understands what they should do. You should also engage in additional training, when needed, to know the best steps to stay protected from heat-related injuries and illnesses.

Monitor Weather Conditions

You need to check the forecast every day before heading to work. You should plan your work schedule based on the temperature and conditions. You also need to plan in plenty of breaks and have water readily available. Keep a thermometer on the job site so you can monitor the temperature throughout the day.

Remain Hydrated

If you are working outside, make sure you have plenty of clean, cool water available. If people are working under you, be sure you have plenty for everyone and that it is available at no charge.

Stay Cool

Make sure that there is access to shade and when possible, create an area for workers to cool down throughout the day. You can also keep wet disposable towels available and portable fans.

Watch Out for One Another

You need to watch out for yourself and for others who are working with you. If you notice signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, take the right steps to make sure the condition doesn’t get worse right away.

Getting to Know the Signs of a Possible Heat Injury

Along with taking the right steps to prevent a possible heat injury, it’s important to know the signs of this condition, too.

A common heat-related illness that a contractor or another worker in extreme temperatures may experience is heat exhaustion. Symptoms of this include:

  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Irritability
  • Profuse sweating
  • Extreme weakness
  • Fainting, lightheadedness, dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Cramps

Another heat-related illness you may experience is heat stroke. Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Nausea
  • Dry, hot skin and no sweating
  • Irrational behavior or confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Strong, rapid pulse
  • Convulsions and seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

Creating a Plan for Heat-Related Injuries

It’s important that you put a plan in place to respond to heat-related injuries. Some tips for creating this plan include:

  • Designate someone to administer first-aid training when needed
  • Move the person showing signs of a heat-related illness to a shaded, cool area
  • Remove or loosen heavy clothing
  • Offer cool (not cold) water to drink
  • Fan and mist the individual using water
  • Call 911 if needed and provide directions to the work area
  • If someone experiences an on-the-job heat injury or illness and cannot work, it may be necessary to file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits

Keep in mind there are other steps that you may want to include in this list. You can customize the list to your needs based on your situation.

Contact Our Legal Team to Help with Workers’ Compensation Claims

Even well-executed plans may result in serious injuries and other problems for contractors and others who work outdoors or in the heat. If you happen to suffer an on-the-job illness or injury due to the extreme temperatures, hiring our legal team from Hines Law is a smart move. We will evaluate your situation and help protect your rights by ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve for the injuries you have suffered.

With several years of experience representing cases just like yours, you can count on us to deliver superior results for your workers’ compensation case. The first step is to give our legal team a call and set up a free initial consultation. We are here to help you recover the benefits you deserve for your workplace injury or illness.

Read More

Why Construction Is the Most Dangerous Industry in Georgia

Can Your Employer Force You to Return to Work Too Soon After an On-the-Job Accident?