Worker safety must be a primary concern for all businesses, but a special emphasis must be placed on keeping people safe who are working outdoors in California. There are several hazards that these individuals face that can be addressed through proper planning.
Many factors come into the picture when a company is setting guidelines and protocol for what is appropriate during shifts that are worked outside. Thinking about things like workers' age and health, environmental conditions and the weather forecast can all help.
Exposure to the sun
Being out in the sun can lead to a sunburn, but when the exposure is prolonged, the redness of the skin might not be the only symptoms. Severe sunburns can lead to blistered skin, which is painful and may become infected. There is also the risk of skin cancer. In order to minimize the chance of this happening, workers should wear sunblock and stay as covered as they comfortably can if they know that they will be working in the sun.
Working in the heat
Heat stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration are all possible for workers who are regularly in the heat. Workers should be able to take breaks in the shade where they can cool off. Water should be readily available for drinking. The company should also ensure that a bathroom of some sort is present so that workers won't worry about needing to use the restroom when they are drinking a lot of water.
Food that is brought to the worksite should be handled properly. While this might not be the duty of the company, it is imperative that the employer make it clear that food safety is necessary. Workers should keep cold foods cold, which can usually be done using an ice chest. If the company provides lunch or any other foods, those should always be handled using proper methods.
Allergies and environmental contaminants
Working outside can expose workers to allergens and other environmental contaminants. If employees are around things like poison ivy or poison sumac, they need to be instructed on what measures to take to avoid coming into contact with them.
Of course, workers still face the standard hazards that come with their chosen jobs. This might be the risk of falling if they are working at elevations above ground or speeding cars if they are near a roadway. Employers should address all of these concerns. Injured employees can seek workers' compensation to have their medical bills covered. Other benefits might also be possible depending on the situation.