A recent study has revealed why you should ratchet up your efforts to protect crew members when outdoor temperatures are high – even if your people aren’t laboring outside.
Researchers with the Institute of Labor Economics examined workers’ comp claims filed in California between 2001 and 2018 and found that worker injuries are more common on hotter days than on cooler ones.
The study showed that workplace injuries increase by as much as 9% on days when the outside temperature is between 90ºF and 100ºF and by as much as 15% on days when outdoor temperatures are above 100ºF.
The injuries were suffered by crew members laboring both outdoors and indoors, including victims in the manufacturing and warehousing industries.
And the injuries weren’t always directly related to the heat. For instance, workers were more likely to fall, be hit by a moving vehicle, or mishandle dangerous machinery when temperatures were high, probably because excessive heat has been linked to impaired decision-making.
(From the August 9, 2021, issue of Safety Alert for Supervisors. To start your no obligation trial subscription to the publication right now, please click here.)