Summer is in full swing here in Florida. Contractors can expect scorching heat and heavy rain in the coming months. In addition to these widely known perils, construction workers will have to contend with those that are less known but no less hazardous. Hazards like poisonous plants, venomous animals, and disease-carrying insects, for example, can pose just as much of a threat to your workers. Below, we discuss some common and uncommon hazards that outdoor construction workers may encounter. For in-depth legal guidance, speak with a roofing lawyer in Florida from our law firm.
Sun and Heat
We’ll begin with one of the most concerning hazards to outdoor construction workers — sunlight. First and foremost, heat and humidity can lead to heat rashes, heat cramps, and heat strokes, especially in a sunny state like Florida. The damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation is another hazard that outdoor workers will have to watch out for — the main concern being skin cancer. For these reasons, it’s important to provide your workers with the tools they need to work safely outdoors. Wide brim hats, sunscreen, and ample access to water are essentials for outdoor workers, as are schedules that work around the hotter parts of the day.
Poisonous Plants and Dangerous Animals
We understand that this may not be your top concern. Keeping your workers safe from common hazards is a priority, as it should be, but you must nonetheless keep these hazards top of mind when your workers are working outdoors. Venomous animals, such as the rattlesnake and cottonmouth, as well as poisonous plants, such as the oleander (a plant often used in landscaping that contains chemicals that can cause seizures and death), are just a part of living and working in the Sunshine State. Disease-carrying ticks and virus-transmitting mosquitoes are other hazards that may seem harmless until a worker becomes sick. Always practice caution when around these hazards, especially near dense brush or bodies of water.
Hazards on Outdoor Construction Sites
You must also consider construction hazards that are amplified or only present while working outdoors, especially if you’re working on a road or highway project. Construction workers on highway projects must contend with distracted, impaired, or speeding drivers. They must also contend with late hours that, while keeping them out of the sun, can lead to exhaustion. For these reasons and more, it’s imperative that you work with a roofing attorney in Florida who can help identify and mitigate hazards on your jobsite. Remember, it is your responsibility as a contractor to provide your workers with a safe and hazard-free work environment, whether those hazards are common or uncommon.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.