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Help keep your employees safe from common summer hazards

Many people look forward to summer – especially those who live in colder climates. And for employees who work outside, it can make a huge difference. However, summer is also a time when emergency rooms can get busy.

Below is a list of common warm-weather dangers. Educate your employees about safety guidelines and what they can do to help lower the risks.

Sweating construction worker drinking water outside on a sunny day.

Summer hazards

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many summer injuries are caused by:

  • Motor vehicle accidents. For millions of Americans, driving is part of their regular job duties. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), driving is the No. 1 cause of workplace deaths, and most accidents occur in summer. Although sometimes crashes are caused by factors beyond your employee's control, companies can help reduce worktime accidents by establishing and strictly enforcing the following rules suggested by the CDC:
    • Don't drive when you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    • Avoid distractions, such as texting or using your cell phone.
    • Make sure to drive at a speed that is safe for road and weather conditions.

The NSC offers a Safe Driving Kit that can help employers reduce the risk for their workers.

  • Falls from ladders. Each year, thousands of Americans are injured in falls from ladders. Falls are a risk both at home and on the job. Lack of training, improper use and poor equipment maintenance are major causes of most ladder-related accidents. These tips can help you reduce the risks:
    • Provide the right ladder for the job. Make sure it's the right height and made of the right material. Ladders made of nonconductive materials should be used when working near live wires. Teach your employees to check the duty rating to determine the maximum amount of weight the ladder can hold.
    • Regularly inspect the condition of the ladder. Look for missing rungs, bolts, etc. and do not allow a ladder with defects to be used.
    • Educate your employees about the proper use. Ladders should be set up on a level, supportive surface. Placing a barrier around it can help prevent people or equipment from bumping into it. Never step above the second highest rung on a step ladder or the fourth highest rung on an extension ladder. Extension ladders should be angled at 75 degrees and extend at least three feet above the top of the structure.
    • Don't allow employees to carry materials or equipment up a ladder.
  • ATVs. More than 10 million All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are used in U.S. workplaces, most commonly in agricultural settings. ATVs have also become popular recreational vehicles. Help keep your employees safe by following these safety precautions:
    • Provide protective gear such as a helmet and eye protection.
    • Require employees to wear appropriate clothes, such as sturdy boots and long pants.
    • Make sure the vehicle is well maintained and in good working order.
    • Provide training on how to safely operate the vehicle and any accessories.
    • Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for weight limits and hauling or towing capacity.
    • Educate your employees about safe ATV operation:
      • Watch for hazards such as trees, ruts, rocks and water.
      • Drive at a safe speed for the weather and terrain.
      • Do not operate an ATV on surfaces that are not designed for them.
      • Never carry a passenger unless there is a seat designed to carry them.
      • Do not operate an ATV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Heat stroke. This is a serious heat-related illness that occurs when your body is unable to cool down and your body temperature rises too high. Symptoms include confusion or slurred speech; loss of consciousness; hot, dry skin or profuse sweating; and seizures. Immediate medical attention is required. People who participate in strenuous physical activities on hot days are at high risk. To help your employees avoid heat-related illnesses, encourage them to:
    • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
    • Take regular breaks to cool down.
    • If possible, avoid work or activities that require strenuous physical activity on very hot or humid days.
    • Wear clothes that help you stay cool. This may include reflective clothes, water-dampened cotton or cooling vests that have pockets for cold packs.
  • Insect stings. Whether you're at work or play, stinging insects like bees, hornets and wasps can cause serious injury. Educate your employees about what they can do to help avoid stings:
    • Wear light-colored, smooth finished clothes.
    • Avoid perfumes and scented soaps, shampoos and deodorants.
    • Avoid bananas or banana-scented products.
    • Bathe daily and wear clean clothes.
    • Avoid flowering plants.
    • Wrap up discarded food so insects cannot get to it.
    • Don't swat at a single insect.
    • If attacked by several insects at once, run to get away. If possible, go indoors or in a shaded area.
    • If you have a history of severe allergic reactions, carry an EpiPen and wear a bracelet or necklace that identifies your allergy.

Whether the injury occurs at work or home, having good health insurance benefits can put your employees' minds at ease and make recovery easier.

The Allstate Benefits Self-Funded Program helps employers gain control of health care expenses while providing quality benefits to employees. With more than 10,000 plan designs for groups ranging in size from 2 to 500, we have coverage that fits your company's specific needs.

Adding supplemental accident benefits can also help ease the financial sting by paying a benefit for a covered accident, injury and treatment.

For companies that prefer a more traditional option, Allstate Benefits offers Secure Choice,4 a fully insured PPO health plan for small businesses with 2 to 50 employees. Secure Choice is an ACA-compliant product that offers Gold, Silver, and Bronze-level options. All plans cover the 10 Essential Health Benefits - including Preventive and Wellness benefits at no cost to plan members. Walmart Health Virtual Care2 is included with all Secure Choice plan offerings.

Contact an Allstate Benefits Group Health sales representative to learn more about how Allstate Benefits can help your company and your employees.

The Self-Funded Program through Allstate Benefits provides tools for employers owning small to mid-sized businesses to establish a self-funded health benefit plan for their employees. The benefit plan is established by the employer and is not an insurance product. Allstate Benefits is a marketing name for: Integon National Insurance Company in CT, NY and VT; Integon Indemnity Corporation in FL; and National Health Insurance Company in CO, WA and all other states where offered. For employers in the Allstate Benefits Self-Funded Program, stop loss insurance is underwritten by these insurance companies in the noted states.

Allstate Benefits is a marketing name for: Integon National Insurance Company in TX and IN; and National Health Insurance Company in MO and FL. Group health insurance plans offered by Allstate Benefits are offered by Integon National Insurance Company in TX and IN; and National Health Insurance Company in MO and FL.

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