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 take a look at the most common risks facing construction workers in the hottest months of the year.
Common Injuries on Construction Sites in the Summer
One of the most common dangers construction workers encounter in the summer months is exposure to excessively high temperatures. The risk of a heat-related illness is especially great for both new workers and workers who have recently taken time off from work.
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.
Some of the most common forms of heat-related illnesses 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 in elbow creases.
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.
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 serious sunburn include painful, red skin and, in some cases, blistering of the skin.
Year-Round Dangers Also Increase in the Summer
Some of the injuries that 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:
Regardless of the season, falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers. When workers aren’t properly trained or given adequate safety equipment, they are far more likely to fall on the job.
Construction workers who do their jobs 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 as well as 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. The duty to ensure that workers are safe falls on many parties, including motorists, property owners, and construction equipment manufacturers. 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.
The Construction Injury Lawyers at Fieger Law Can Help
If you need legal representation after suffering an injury on a construction site, the Michigan construction accident lawyers at Fieger Law are here to help you fight for the compensation you’re entitled to.
Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation with our team.