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6 Dangers Outdoor Workers May Face in Warm Weather Months

Year-round, you are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of your indoor and outdoor staff.  Give additional attention, however, to your workers who spend most of their time outdoors, especially during the summer months.
To prevent life-threatening illness or injury, leaders and workers should understand the full extent to which these dangers may impact their health and safety. Managers must make it a priority to learn about these dangers and create and implement mandatory training programs that are specific to the outdoors.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of various dangers will allow you to act quickly, should one of your employees exhibit symptoms. However, do not attempt to diagnose and treat a fallen employee, call for emergency service immediately.
Heat Stroke
Signs and symptoms:

  • Flushed skin that is dry and hot to the touch
  • Absence of sweating
  • Rapid breathing
  • Headache, dizziness, confusion, altered mental status
  • Body temperature above 103 degrees

Sun Exposure
The second most common hazard for outdoor workers, burns, and other maladies caused by the sun’s powerful u/v rays can lead to skin cancers and infection, dermatitis, and more.
Poisonous Plants
The most common poisonous plants are poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.  Follow the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) old cliché to identify poisonous plants: “Leaves of three, let it be!”
Signs and symptoms:

  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Bumps, streaking, weeping blisters, and patches

These include bees, wasps, hornets, fire ants, and scorpions, which can cause mild discomfort or pain to a more lethal reaction if the subject is allergic to the venom.
Scorpion sting symptoms can linger for 24 hours.
Mosquitos and Ticks
Exposure to insect-borne diseases (mosquitoes and ticks) can cause permanent, long-lasting health effects, including Lyme disease.
Signs and symptoms:

  • Bull’s eye rash
  • Dizziness
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Lethargy
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Fever

 Venomous spiders
Dangerous species found in the U.S. include the black widow and brown recluse and are known to cause thousands of workplace injuries each year.
Signs and symptoms:

  • Rash or itching
  • Pain around the bite
  • Muscle pain or cramping
  • Red or purple colored blister
  • Abnormal sweating

More critical reactions can include:

  • Impaired breathing
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever or chills
  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure

Venomous Snakes
Poisonous snakes include rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths/water moccasins, and coral snakes.  Though rare, snake venom allergies can cause death. Seven to eight thousand snake bites occur each year, and as with all other outdoor dangers, require immediate treatment.
Signs and symptoms:

  • Puncture marks at the wound
  • Swelling and redness near the bite

More critical reactions can include:

  • Severe pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficult breathing, and sometimes breathing may stop.
  • Impaired vision
  • Extreme salivation and sweating
  • Tingling and Numbness of face and limbs

Never overlook any danger your workforce may face. With education and training, you can prevent potential and harmful threats to your workforce.
Lingo is a full-service staffing firm dedicated to providing top quality services to its clients and its candidate pool. With extensive knowledge and experience in light industrial, administrative, and professional employment, Lingo encompasses the capabilities and resources necessary to help you get ahead.
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