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Statistics show hot weather increased California work accidents

On Behalf of | Jul 30, 2021 | Workers' Comp |

Many issues play a role in California workplace accidents. Because workplace injuries are costly in several ways, any information that might help to prevent them can be useful. Researchers strive to find out why these incidents might occur and sometimes, there are unusual and unexpected circumstances that contribute to work injuries. One study says that hot weather is a significant contributor to workers being in jeopardy of injuries on the job. This should be considered when taking safety precautions. It should also be assessed after there was an injury and a workers’ compensation claim is initiated.

Study suggests link between work injuries and hotter weather

According to a study from Stanford and UCLA researchers, hotter days resulted in a troubling spike in worker injuries on the job. Using 18 years of workers’ compensation claims, the researchers found that days in which the temperatures reached the 90s led to up to a 9% spike in accidents. If the temperature was in the 100s, it increased by up to 15%. This is not limited to people whose jobs require they work outside. The higher temperatures also impacted people who worked indoors.

There might be an automatic assumption that the injuries were related to workers passing out or becoming ill from the heat. However, that is not always the case. The study says that workers had a higher propensity of making errors when using risky machinery, were hit by motor vehicles more often and had a greater likelihood of falling. The number of recorded accidents in which heat was labeled as a cause was low compared to the in-depth research. An estimated 20,000 more worker injuries were connected to heat than had been initially labeled as such. Around 16 years ago, workplaces started paying attention to heat-related risks for outdoor workers and began providing them with respites and water to avoid heat-related danger. This reduced heat-related workplace injuries, but it remained a problem.

Many factors can be relevant in workers’ compensation claims

Employers are being advised to keep this issue in mind and new regulations are on the way to mitigate the heat for indoor workers. Even with these steps, the statistics are worrisome for workers indoors and out. The cause of the work injury can be integral when pursuing workers’ compensation benefits. If a claim is approved, workers can receive medical care, coverage for lost wages and more after injuries or illness on the job. Still, some cases can be denied or there might be a dispute as to how serious the injuries are. From the outset, having professional advice can be essential.