Top Risks for Lone Workers in the Summer
by Mashum Mollah Management 14 September 2019
Lone worker safety is important regardless of the season. However, as the seasons change, the risks change as well. Summer has its own unique set of risks you need to explore so you can adapt your lone worker safety strategy.
Sun and Heat
The summer sun is a welcome change after a rainy spring, but that heat poses a threat to lone workers. Lone workers who spend their days outside run the risk of getting overheated. This can lead to dehydration and heatstroke, not to mention severe sunburns. Your lone worker safety plan needs to address this. Make sure your workers use sunscreen and stay hydrated when out in the heat. They also need to incorporate breaks into their workdays so that they don’t get overheated.
Stinging and Biting Insects
Stinging and biting insects come out to play during the summer months, putting your lone workers at risk. Countless people are allergic to insect venom and getting stung can put their lives at risk. Some people just experience discomfort, but others go into anaphylactic shock. While many people receive immediate medical care and survive, others aren’t so lucky. According to the CDC, 90-100 people die from allergic reactions in the United States each year. Employees are less likely to get bitten or stung if their bodies are covered with clothing. Recommend long sleeves and pants to protect your employees.
Poor Air Quality
Lone workers also have to deal with poor air quality during the summer months. Dust, allergens, and pollutants can make it very difficult to breathe outside. To make matters worse, the high temperatures can cause pollutants to undergo chemical reactions that damage the air quality even more. Employees who have a respiratory condition such as asthma need to take special care when outside during the summer months. Consider adding face masks to your lone worker safety plan to protect these employees. These masks will keep the pollutants out of their lungs.
Did you know there is a correlation between hot temperatures and crime? Additional research still needs to be done, but it appears that gun violence and heat are connected. As temperatures rise, people are more likely to commit violent crimes. This puts lone workers at risk. Lone workers never know who they might encounter on the job, and sometimes, chance meetings turn violent. A lone worker safety device can mitigate the risk. Choose a device that streams live video so you can check in on your employees. Also, the device should have a panic button your employees can activate if a situation gets out of hand. This could be a lifeline for your lone workers.
Create a Lone Worker Safety Plan for Each Season
A lone worker safety plan needs to address the specific issues for each season, including the summer. As the temperatures heat up, make sure your plan addresses the heat, insects, air quality, and possible violence the season brings. The right plan will keep your employees safe and help them maintain their productivity during the summer.