There are five safety hazards that Georgia construction workers and supervisors need to address each time summer rolls around. They are fatigue, heat-related illness (like heat rash and heat stroke), dehydration, prolonged sun exposure and the danger posed by cars in roadside construction zones. Many of these hazards can lead to death. Prolonged sun exposure is linked to skin cancer. And construction zones see nearly 100 worker fatalities a year.
This is why risk management is so crucial. To start off, employers should supply workers with hydrating fluids and have them take plenty of breaks in a shaded area. PPE should be appropriate for the weather. Workers should be encouraged to wear hats to protect the ears and the back of the neck. Canopies and umbrellas over a job site will also help.
If the only hydrating fluid available is water, workers may not feel encouraged to drink and replenish their energy. For this reason, having electrolytic beverages may be a good idea. Salty snacks could help by restoring sodium to workers’ bodies, which is lost through sweat.
Roadside construction zones should be clearly demarcated with barriers. Reducing the speed limit in these zones is an essential step. Employees must wear safety vests. Safety meetings should be held in the zone itself.
Even with the best training and the most comprehensive safety measures, though, not all accidents can be prevented. This is where workers’ compensation comes in. Victims might be reimbursed for medical costs and a portion of lost wages (called wage replacement). They may also, if applicable, be covered for short- or long-term disability leave. Filing is a complicated process, so victims might want legal advice and guidance. A lawyer may also be helpful in pursuing a liability or non-liability settlement.