What Are Common Summer Job Injuries?
July 28, 2022
The summer months bring plenty of opportunities for jobs. Swimming pool complexes, theme parks, golf courses, and retail stores are all looking for additional help with the increased flow of business that warm weather brings. Unfortunately, many summer jobs can also leave employees vulnerable to workplace accidents and injuries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most work injuries occur in June, July, and August. Every workplace comes with a degree of risk, but summer jobs involve unique hazards.
Summertime often sees an increase in workplace injuries and corresponding Workers’ Compensation claims, especially in states like Pennsylvania that have four distinct seasons. There are risks that tend to rise during the hottest months of the year, the most common being:
- Dehydration: Employees who work outside during summer need to consume appropriate amounts of water to remain sufficiently hydrated. The same applies for people who work in warehouses and manufacturing plants that may have inadequate air conditioning. Unfortunately, many workers either do not have access to an ample supply of fresh water, or they are not encouraged to take regular water breaks. Employers have a responsibility to keep employees safe, which may also include providing their workers with access to water, as well as sufficient breaks. Common symptoms of dehydration include exhaustion, memory problems, headaches, dizziness, and nausea.
- Heat-related illnesses: Heath exhaustion and heat stroke can be very dangerous and even fatal. Lack of hydration is one contributing factor of heat stroke, although even hydrated workers can suffer heat stress injuries in extremely hot conditions. Warning signs of heat stroke include rapid heart rate, inability to sweat, headache, confusion, chills, and fever. Employees experiencing these warning signs should take them seriously and seek immediate medical attention. Employers should provide proper training and resources to employees to ensure they understand the dangers of heat-related illnesses.
- Skin cancer: Employees with long-term exposure to the sun in the workplace are at risk of serious sunburn and the development of cancerous lesions. The best way for workers to prevent skin cancer is to wear loose, breathable clothing that covers up exposed areas of the skins and to use sunscreen. It is also advisable to wear a protective hat or other related gear if the job allows for it. Employees with an elevated risk for skin cancer should include these habits as part of their everyday work routine.
- Accident injuries: Employees who drive for a living or perform work on roadways are at a greater risk for being injured in a motor vehicle accident. Construction workers who improve and repair highways are especially susceptible to injuries when drivers speed or do not follow other safety signage in work zones. Summer is a busy season for travel with an increase of motorists on the road. This increases the risk of accidents for anyone sharing the roadways during the summer months.
- Slip and fall injuries: Work-related slip and falls take place all year, however, they can increase during the summer months. Summertime can bring sudden downpours and thunderstorms, which may cause slippery conditions and uneven ground. This increases the likelihood of slip and fall accidents during the summer.
Am I Eligible to Collect Workers’ Compensation if I Get Injured at a Summer Job?
While many people think summer or seasonal work might offer fewer protections than full-time employment, when it comes to Workers’ Compensation, most employees are covered. No matter what time of year, employers should keep the safety of employees a priority. Business owners must always consider the risks of summer. In the summer, with its high temperatures, busy travel times, and unpredictable weather, it is essential they take extra precautions to ensure their workers can stay as safe as possible.
Teenagers and college students across the country are typically on break during the summer, which often represents the opportunity to pick up a part-time or seasonal job. Young or new seasonal workers typically have less training and experience when they start a summer job, and they may not be as aware of the important safety procedures meant to prevent injuries. Therefore, employers should require all new hires to participate in summer safety training and ensure that these workers are properly supervised.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, employees under 18 years old suffer over 150,000 work-related injuries and illnesses each summer. A majority of these injuries occur in the restaurant industry, another line of business that gets busier during the summer months. Restaurants offer many conditions and opportunities for work-related injuries, including slip and fall injuries, severe burns, cuts and lacerations, and heat exhaustion. There is generally an increase in Workers’ Compensation claims at restaurants during the summer months. This is due in part to the increase of restaurant patrons during the summer, as well as outdoor seating areas for workers to contend with.
The construction industry also gets busier during the summer months, which can lead to an increase in workplace accidents and claims. Many of these involve high temperatures and changing weather patterns and traffic due to more vacationers. The warmer temperatures mean more construction worksites during the summer than any other time of the year. More worksites lead to more construction injuries during the summer months.
Summer employees have the right to work in safe environments as much as regular workers. All summer workers should understand what to do in the event of an emergency. Any employee who has been injured at the work should seek medical attention immediately, and they should report the accident to a supervisor as soon as possible. Seasonal and part-time workers also have the same employment rights under the law as full-time workers.
How Can a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help Me?
An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help you identify all valid claims, fill out the associated paperwork, or petition a denied claim. While some people can go through the initial process of filing a Workers’ Compensation claim on their own, handling an appeals process can be challenging and legally complex. A lawyer can help you with each step. A lawyer can also help prove that you have a workplace injury and that it is not related to a pre-existing medical condition.
States regulate Workers’ Compensation programs. To receive benefits, you will need to submit certain evidence as required. A lawyer understands Pennsylvania law and regulations and can help you secure the evidence you will need for your case. Important evidence includes medical records, eyewitness interviews, expert witness reports, and calculation of your losses.
Hiring a lawyer will enable you to focus on your recovery while your lawyer takes care of the details of your case. It can be overwhelming to pursue legal action. Your lawyer will know how to navigate the system and look out for possible pitfalls that require preparation.
Let Us Help You With Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Galfand Berger LLP has handled a variety of complex Workers’ Compensation cases. Some of our past cases:
- $270,000 payment for serious construction accident injury. We represented a worker who suffered a serious abdominal injury when he was crushed by the industrial machine on which he was working. In addition to injuries to his upper torso, chest, and abdomen, he suffered PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Through mediation, we were able to obtain $270,000 in compensation plus payment for ongoing medical treatment.
- $230,000 payment for third-degree burns. We also represented a laborer who was injured when a compressed hose exploded while he was working. He suffered third-degree burns on his left leg, which required skin grafting. We recovered $230,000 for his injury as well as a third-party recovery. He also receives Social Security Disability benefits.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Fight on Behalf of Injured Summertime Workers
If you have been injured at a summertime job and need legal assistance, speak with one of our Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online. From our offices in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, Pennsylvania, we help clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Allentown and Harrisburg.