Why Do Workplace Injuries Increase During the Summer?
Workplace accidents can easily happen at any time of year. However, there is some data that shows fatal workplace accidents tend to occur more frequently during the summer months. In 2022, Safety & Health Magazine reported that August is the month with the highest rate of fatal workplace injuries, followed by July, May, and June. So what is it about this time of year that can make workplace accidents more common?
Dangerous Seasonal Work
During the summer months, it’s very common to see many industries that involve a lot of safety risks enter a busy period. Construction and landscaping are prime examples. In states that don’t experience warm weather all year long, such as Michigan, many people primarily hire landscaping professionals during the spring and summer. A lot of construction projects are also often specifically planned for the warmest time of year. Both of these industries involve a lot of inherent on-the-job safety risks, such as working with powerful tools and equipment, using harsh chemicals, and working at elevated heights. And when those industries suddenly become very busy, the more likely it becomes that injuries will happen.
More Inexperienced Workers
Once school is out for the summer, teens and young adults have more time to participate in the workforce. Unfortunately, younger workers face a higher risk of being injured on the job compared to older workers. According to the CDC, the rate of work-related injuries treated in emergency departments in 2020 among workers aged 15-24 was 1.5x higher than it was for workers over 25. Even though there are many regulations intended to help protect younger workers on the job, the risk for younger workers remains elevated for many reasons. For example, young workers generally have little-to-no experience on the job and may not have a lot of safety training or be good at recognizing unsafe situations. There’s also a chance that younger workers may feel pressured to do something they do know is unsafe, but are reluctant to speak up because they’re eager to make a good impression at their new job.
Heat & Other Weather Risks
Here in Michigan, weather can be very difficult to predict during the summer months. Sometimes, we get a season with temperatures on the milder side, but other times, we have summers full of scorching heat. In addition to the heat, there’s also the risk of other weather-related dangers like strong thunderstorms, high winds, and tornados. If proper precautions aren’t taken, it’s very easy for workers who spend a lot of time outdoors to experience things like heat stroke, heat exhaustion, sunburns, dehydration, in addition to risk for things like lightning strikes.
Very often, people think of winter being the most dangerous time of year to be on the road. But data shows that summer is actually the season with the highest rate of car accidents. Even though we don’t have ice and snow in the summer, there are several other factors that make car crashes more likely, such as more people traveling in general, more teen drivers on the road, more road construction projects, and an increase in impaired/drowsy driving. If a job involves spending lots of time driving, all of these factors can make it more likely a worker will get into a crash on the job.
Contact a Michigan Workplace Injury Lawyer
Being injured at work at any time of year can be a deeply difficult experience. Not only do you need to focus on recovery, you need to worry about things like medical bills and lost income. Be sure to contact a workplace injury lawyer for help with your claim for workers compensation benefits. Even if it seems like your employer is being cooperative, it’s important to have someone on your side who knows the law and can help you get all the compensation you are entitled to.