During the summer months when the temperatures rise, so do the threats to outdoor workers. The heat and sun exposure can have devastating effects on the physical well-being of the people whose jobs require them to spend a significant amount of time outdoors. It is important for workers to be aware of risks and to understand how to stay safe.
Ohio employers bear the responsibility of ensuring their workers are as safe as reasonably possible. During the summer, this means understanding the risks associated with sun exposure and heat. Taking preventative measures can reduce injuries and illnesses, but workers also have the right to know what to do in case they need to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Skin cancer and outdoor workers
One of the most significant safety threats that outdoor workers can face during the summer months is the possibility of developing skin cancer. The sun can cause damage to the skin, and people who have long-term sun exposure have a high risk of developing this type of disease down the road. Workers who are likely to experience a high amount of UV exposure and sun damage include the following:
- Workers who sweat a significant amount, as sweat can remove sunscreen a worker applied and increase the skin’s photosensitivity
- Workers who must spend a significant amount of time outdoors
- Workers who spend a lot of time on certain types of reflective surfaces, such as concrete and light-colored surfaces
While it is hot during the summer, you probably know about things such as the threat of heat stroke and other conditions that can develop as a result of heat exhaustion and sun exposure. You may not think about the possibility of skin cancer as well, but long-term health issues that can affect you as a result of your job are just as serious. Some of the things that workers can do to reduce their risk of skin cancer include:
- Avoiding working outdoors during the heat of the day
- Wearing long-sleeved clothes that are light in color
- Applying sunscreen on a regular basis
- Keeping an eye on your skin to ensure that you do not have suspicious marks
If you get sick as a result of sun exposure or you develop a skin disease because of your time working outdoors, you have the right to seek support through a workers’ compensation claim. Through your claim, you may be able to seek coverage of your medical needs, replacement of lost income and more.