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two construction workers drinking water outdoors on a hot day

Hot Weather and Workers’ Compensation Claims

Believe it or not, hot weather directly correlates to workers’ compensation claims. Significantly more workers’ comp claims are filed when temperatures exceed 80° Fahrenheit. Additionally, the injuries happening on these hot summer days tend to be more serious.

Facts and Statistics

A recent report by the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF), Insurance as a Catalyst for Climate Action, shows that workers’ compensation claims are over 40% more likely to be filed on days with temperatures above 80°. And as the effects of climate change become more and more apparent, temperatures over 80° become more and more commonplace.

How Does Hot Weather Impact Workers’ Compensation Claims?

Heat may lead to an uptick in workers’ compensation claims for various reasons, including:

  • Impaired motor functions
    • Heat stress may hinder judgment, reaction time, coordination, and other motor functions
  • Dehydration
    • Dizziness, fatigue, and other symptoms of dehydration can impact the risk of jobsite injuries
  • Heat-related sickness
    • Conditions like heat exhaustion and heat stroke may lead to severe injuries

The rise in claims does not only apply to those working outdoors. When temperatures reach extreme highs, injury risk increases by over 10% for both indoor and outdoor workers.

two construction workers drinking water outdoors on a hot day

Heat and Productivity

Aside from the increase in workers’ compensation claims, hot weather can also impact cognitive functioning. This has been proven to negatively affect labor output and overall productivity.

Heat, Workers’ Compensation Claims, and Your Business

The correlation between workers’ compensation claims and heat is industry-spanning.

How Can My Business Take Action?

Hydration

Ensure that clean, cool drinking water is readily available, and encourage your employees to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Rest Breaks

Implement more frequent rest breaks when necessary. This can help employees’ bodies recover from the heat.

Cooling Zones

Set up “cooling zones” where employees can go to cool down. These may include shaded areas, air-conditioned rooms, or other lower-temperature places.

Proper Clothing and Equipment

Encourage employees to wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. Additionally, promote the use of sun protection and high SPF products.

Heat Acclimatization

By gradually increasing the time your employees spend working in the heat, they become better adapted to handling the higher temperatures, reducing the risks of heat-related illnesses.

Flexible Scheduling

If possible, schedule the most physically strenuous tasks for the cooler fragments of the day, such as early morning or late evening.

construction worker drinking bottle of water

Minimizing Workers’ Compensation Premium Charges

While heat exacerbates workplace accidents and their severity, its effects simultaneously boost your workers’ compensation premium costs. These increased business expenses can be significant, potentially devastating your bottom line.

At CompWize, we specialize in providing businesses with in-depth workers’ compensation analyses, resolving errors, and potentially saving you tens of thousands of dollars in workers’ comp premiums. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business.

 
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