Summer is officially here and that means countless people are indulging in the nice weather. Whether you’re going on hikes or hitting the beach, most people are trying their best to enjoy the sun and stay safe in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. When you’re not out basking in the sun, however, the summer can pose an increased risk to some employees when they’re on the job.
While winter is typically known as the most accident-prone season because of the danger surrounding slip-and-fall accidents, the summer poses a unique set of risks as well. It’s up to your employer to do their best in protecting you from these hazards, but it’s important that the worker is just as informed as their boss.
After all, if you’re not staying aware of your surroundings and following the proper procedures to stay safe, you might wind up in your local urgent care clinic. These locations are adept at handling workplace injuries, but few people would want to sit in a healthcare facility when there are pools to swim in and parks to enjoy. When it comes to keeping yourself safe from injury, the best tool you have in your arsenal is preparedness.
That being said, here are some of the most common workplace injuries that you should watch out for now that summer is officially here.
Heat exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses
It’s not surprising, but temperatures get hot in the summer. This is especially important in 2020 — the country of Siberia experienced one of the hottest temperatures on record back in June! If you aren’t taking the necessary precautions to stay cool, you could be putting yourself at risk.
Heat exhaustion and other similar illnesses occur when the body’s internal temperature rises. When you get too hot, your skin will sweat. This cools the body off and, most of the time, you won’t experience any deleterious effects because of the heat. When you aren’t able to cool off, however, your body will start to have an adverse reaction.
People experiencing heat exhaustion might suffer from the following symptoms:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Muscle cramps
Heatstroke is the next stage of heat exhaustion and can result in coma or even death. The best way to beat heat exhaustion is by staying hydrated and taking breaks as often as you can. This can be difficult for restaurant workers and on construction sites, but it’s paramount to maintaining your health. Try to get to a cool or shady place at the first sign of trouble. If you start to suffer from heat exhaustion, you will likely have to seek out healthcare services.
Slips and falls
This might be one of the top issues in the winter, but this is truly a year-round issue for some occupations. That’s why restaurant workers have to wear no-slip shoes and why lifeguards are always yelling at kids to walk around the pool.
Slips and falls are especially common in some summer occupations, like gardening. Everyone wants gorgeous flowers for the season so professional gardening centers are operating at max capacity to deliver gorgeous bouquets, potted plants, and more. Since gardening requires a lot of water, slips and falls are particularly prevalent in this line of work.
If a single person forgets to put away a gardening hose properly, just about anyone could slip in that puddle. Many jobs have also put their entryway mats away for the season, allowing ample accidents when a sudden rainstorm brings water inside. If you’re going to work, don’t forget about the possibility of slipping and falling; even though the weather is nice, accidents can still happen.
Sprains and strains
Studies show that the most common summer workplace injury is the classic sprain or strain. These injuries made up approximately 40% of summer workplace accidents, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is likely, in part, thanks to all the seasonal occupations that occur during the summer, especially those pertaining to manual labor.
Sprains, strains, and muscle tears most often occur when people fail to warm-up properly. Too much tension on the muscles can result in injury unless you stretch beforehand. This is because the body is better able to take on physical stress after stretching and easing into a workout. If stretching doesn’t work, you might want to improve your posture, engage in a regular exercise routine, and try to bolster your muscles through strength-building exercises. Healthcare professionals also note that it’s important to utilize the correct technique when picking up heavy objects; lift with your legs, not your back.
It’s important to keep in mind that other, less arduous jobs are also prone to muscular accidents such as these. Sitting in an office chair all day is not good for your health, but trying to play kickball right after work could result in an injury unless you warm up. No matter what your job is, try to engage in stretching each day to prepare your body for whatever life throws your way. Ease your muscles with plenty of rest and ice. Healthcare professionals also recommend keeping the injured limb elevated if you can.
The summer season is a time of fun in the sun, not time spent in your local healthcare facility. When you want to stay safer at work, be sure to avoid these common workplace injuries. If you are injured, however, be sure to reach out to Care Station Medical. Urgent care centers typically see as many as 50 patients per day. We’ll be happy to help you at the first sign of a workplace injury.