Three Ways to Protect Outdoor Employees this Summer
The weather is officially heating up for the summer, and construction, landscaping, and other outdoor workers are getting ready for their busy season. With more work hours for these employees, a company priority should be overall workplace safety. However, this responsibility should fall to each person in the company, including the employer.
Before the schedule gets too packed, take a moment to reevaluate the safety measures already in place for your outdoor workers and consider if you have these three things covered.
Mandatory Break Times
Although Mississippi does not require employers to provide a meal or rest break, implementing mandatory break times for your outdoor employees can have many benefits, including:
Even allowing 15 minutes for a simple drink, shade, and food break could save you the time and money it takes to find a replacement for an injured or ill employee.
Provide PPE to Employees
Depending on your industry, outdoor employees have specific personal protective equipment (PPE) needs. As part of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards that took effect in 2008, PPE must be provided and paid for by the employer. For outdoor workers, this may include:
- Footwear like steel-toed boots.
- Eye and ear protection.
- Hard hats.
You can view the full list of PPE standards here.
Increase Sun Protection
Sun protection is not mandated PPE per OSHA standards, but it is an essential component of working outdoors. Unfortunately, an estimated 71% of outdoor employees are not provided sunscreen while on the job. This can have potentially dangerous consequences, as sunburn and excessive sun exposure have proven to increase your chance of skin cancer, among other harmful diseases.
While this has not been formally classified as an occupational hazard yet, Mississippi lawmakers have been working to push through legislation that would protect first responders under these circumstances.
How Our Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help
Outdoor employees deserve the same level of care from their employers as those sitting in an office. This summer, commit to creating a working environment that doesn't endanger the health and safety of your workers.
If you are an outdoor employee who sustained an injury or illness from unsafe or unsanitary working conditions, know that you have rights to workers' compensation. Call (228) 231-3989 or fill out this form to get in touch with a member of the team at Gulf South Law Firm.