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3 summer hazards for Minnesota construction workers

Winter may seem like the most dangerous season in Minnesota, with all the snow, ice, wind and freezing temperatures. Yet if you are in the construction industry, summer carries the most hazards.

These are only three of many dangerous circumstances you may face. If you sustain a work injury from any source, you may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim to pay for medical expenses, lost wages and more.

1. Heat

Summer in Minnesota brings high temperatures and humidity. Working in these conditions raises your risk of experiencing heat illnesses. Too much time in the sun can lead to the following:

  • Dehydration
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat stroke
  • Sunburn
  • Skin cancer

Heat can also cause equipment to become very hot, raising the risk of burns, and safety goggles to get foggy, impairing your vision. Take necessary precautions to avoid sickness and/or injury, such as wearing lightweight clothing, drinking water continually and taking breaks.

2. Lightning

Not all summer weather is sunshine and blue skies. Thunderstorms are also a common summer occurrence, bringing the risk of lightning strikes. Never work outside during a storm. In fact, the safest thing to do is go indoors as soon as you hear thunder, no matter how far away it may seem, as storms can travel fast. Wait thirty minutes after the thunder stops before returning outside. Remember to watch out for wind as well. Windy conditions can cause you to fall or an object to fall on you.

3. Traffic

For those in road construction, another danger is the increased traffic during the summer months. Drivers do not always follow the warning signs to slow down, change lanes or watch for workers. New tourists may not be familiar with routes and may drive recklessly or be distracted with a cellphone or GPS. Always be aware of your surroundings and enlist the help of coworkers when you have limited range of visibility. Make sure flaggers are far away enough from you so motorists can tell who they are.

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