Addressing the rise in workplace accidents during summer

While workplace accidents occur all year round, summer brings an increased risk of certain types of accidents, especially for work that takes place outdoors.

So why do workplace accidents spike over the summertime? Let’s take a look.

  • Increased risk of heat-related injuries

Summer in South Africa can be incredibly hot, which means that workers are at an increased risk of heat-related injuries. These injuries occur as a result of prolonged exposure to excessive heat and sun. Dehydration, sunburn, and heat stroke are the most common types of heat-related injuries. Construction workers, gardeners, and farm workers are among some of the occupations worst affected by heat-related injuries.

  • Spike in demand

The summer months are among the busiest for many businesses, especially those in the tourism industry and the agricultural sector. As a result of this, workers may feel under pressure to deliver work at a faster rate which can lead to mistakes being made and protocols not being followed. In addition, our summer season coincides with the festive period – this is a time when people seem to adopt a more carefree attitude. And by dropping their guard workers thereby increase their risk of accidents.

  • More car accidents

South African roads are notoriously unsafe during the festive season, which means that the number of road and pedestrian accidents are far higher than at other times of the year. If a worker is involved in a car on their way to work this will also count as a workplace accident.

  • Lack of training

Many companies hire seasonal workers to assist in the summer months in response to the aforementioned spike in demand. Companies are less likely to provide seasonal workers with training, resulting in avoidable workplace accidents. Furthermore, seasonal workers tend to be younger and less experienced than full-time employees, making them more likely to have accidents or make mistakes.

Here are three ways employers can improve workplace safety to avoid an increase in accidents this summer:

  1. Create a comfortable environment

Making sure employees work in comfortable conditions is the best way to reduce heat-related injuries. Companies can do this by increasing ventilation, providing cool drinking water, and ordering PPE that is made from breathable fabrics.

  • Ensure supervision

Having a health and safety officer on-site to monitor workers and make sure that they are adhering to safety protocols is another way to reduce the chance of accidents. Moreover, monitoring workers’ health and hydration levels is a great tactic to address heat-related injuries before they occur.

  • Educate workers

Providing relevant training and necessary information about heat-related injuries can help workers identify when they are at risk of an injury and therefore empowers and gives them the knowledge needed to avoid dangerous situations and respond appropriately if they occur. Summertime is an extremely busy period for most companies, which is all the more reason to ensure that your workers have access to private medical care with AcciWork. By guaranteeing employees’ access to good health care, it ensures that the amount of downtime or time off from work will be less. But most importantly, it gives you peace of mind knowing your employees are well looked after.