During the summer months, heat and lightning are hazards that employers with outdoor workers may need to be aware of. In fact, NOAA and OSHA have teamed up to offer relevant facts about lightning safety to employers. For instance, lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from any given storm. To remain safe, workers should stay inside for at least 30 minutes after hearing thunder.
Workers should never be outdoors during a thunderstorm if at all possible. However, those who are caught outdoors are advised to avoid standing next to tall structures, avoid open spaces and avoid water. Seeking shelter in a vehicle with a hard top or a building with electrical wiring and plumbing is best as these structures could act as grounds for electricity. OSHA recommends that lightning safety be part of an Emergency Action Plan.
Heat is also a safety issue that employers need to acknowledge. Those who have not worked in the heat before need more time to acclimate themselves to high temperatures and humidity. OSHA says that of the heat-related deaths it has investigated, many involved victims who had worked three days or less in the heat. To prevent heat stroke, workers should be given plenty of fluids, regular breaks and access to shady areas.
If an individual is hurt while working, he or she might be entitled to compensation. This may cover medical bills, the cost of rehabilitation and other costs related to recovering from workplace injuries. Benefits might also be offered to help a worker recoup lost wages or lost future earnings. An attorney may help a worker get everything he or she is entitled to by law.