Summer is usually a busy season in the construction industry. Unfortunately, the season also presents many risks for construction workers, some of which are caused by the extreme temperatures.

Let’s look at the most common risks facing construction workers in the hottest months of the year.

Common Injuries on Construction Sites in the Summer

HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS

One of the most common dangers construction workers encounter in summer is exposure to high temperatures. The risk of a heat-related illness is especially significant for new workers and workers who have recently returned from time off.

Though the human body’s capacity for withstanding heat improves with frequent, repeated exposure, that tolerance quickly diminishes after just a few days of not being exposed to heat.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of the most common forms of heat-related illness include:

  • Heat Stroke: Symptoms include body temperatures at or exceeding 103 degrees Fahrenheit, hot and red skin, accelerated heart rate, headache, nausea, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.
  • Heat Exhaustion: Symptoms include excessive sweating, cold and pale skin, accelerated heart rate, headache, nausea, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.
  • Cramps: Symptoms include spasms, muscle pain, and excessive sweating.
  • Rashes: Symptoms include clusters of tiny blisters that look like pimples. They often appear on the neck, chest, groin, or elbow creases.

DEHYDRATION

When construction workers don’t drink plenty of liquids, they run the risk of dehydration, which can cause serious illness and make other injuries more likely. Symptoms of dehydration include excessive sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea.

SUNBURN

Though some sunburns are mild and need only time to heal, sunburns suffered by outdoor workers in the summer can be severe. Some of the most common warning signs of a severe sunburn include painful, red skin and, in some cases, blisters.

Year-Round Dangers Also Increase in the Summer

Some of the injuries construction workers suffer in the summer are the same ones they experience year-round, but they increase in frequency during this period because construction projects pick up in the summer months. Examples include:

FALLS

Regardless of the season, falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers. Workers with inadequate training or who receive inadequate safety equipment are far more likely to fall on the job.

VEHICLE ACCIDENTS

Construction workers who work in highway work zones might also face greater risk in the summertime, simply because more road work is done on our streets during the warmer months, and there are usually also more cars on the road (the usual commuters, vacationers, and students on summer break).

BEING CRUSHED BY OR AGAINST AN OBJECT

Crush injuries are another common risk facing all construction workers. If equipment is defective or poorly maintained, or if workers aren’t properly trained to use it, crush injuries become more likely.

Construction Site Managers Must Ensure Worker Safety

All of the injuries mentioned above are preventable. Motorists, property owners, and construction equipment manufacturers have a duty to ensure that construction workers are safe on jobsites. However, the parties most responsible for ensuring the safety of workers are construction site managers and supervisors.

When managers don’t provide safe work environments or ensure that workers get frequent breaks from the heat, they could be held legally responsible for the injuries construction workers suffer.

Legal Options for Injured Construction Workers

If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, it’s crucial to understand your legal options to secure the compensation you deserve.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

While workers’ compensation is often the primary avenue for injured workers, it might not always provide full coverage for all damages. Workers’ compensation typically covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages but might not account for pain and suffering or other non-economic damages.

third-party liability claims

This is where third-party liability claims come into play. If a third party, such as a subcontractor, equipment manufacturer, or property owner, contributed to your injury, you may be able to file a separate lawsuit against them. This could lead to additional compensation beyond what workers’ compensation provides.

However, third-party liability claims can be complex, requiring a thorough investigation into the accident’s cause and the identification of all responsible parties. An experienced Michigan construction accident attorney can assess your case, determine the viability of a third-party claim, and guide you through the legal process.

The Construction Injury Lawyers at Fieger Law Can Help

If you need legal representation after suffering an injury on a construction site, the construction accident lawyers at Fieger Law are here to help you fight for the compensation you’re entitled to receive.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our team.

Originally published July 26, 2021.