We are quickly approaching summertime in the Garden State. It’s the season of trips to the Shore, backyard BBQ, family vacations, and simply, being outdoors. It’s also the season with the highest number of workplace injuries in New Jersey and throughout the United States.
The United State Bureau of Labor Statistics performed a detailed survey on the seasonality of workplace injuries and events. The nationwide data confirms that at the start of the summer, the overall number of New Jersey workplace injuries rises. In September, the number of New Jersey workplace injuries starts to fall, with a bigger drop in the rate of injury in November. Throughout the winter, specifically in January, there is the fewest number of workplace injuries in the United States.
What can explain this increase in New Jersey workplace injuries occurring from June through September? While we can’t directly blame the warmer, nicer weather of the summer months, the rise in temperatures and seasonal work does have a lot to do with these trends.
An Increase in Construction Work
From June to September there is a noticeable increase in the number of construction projects in New Jersey. Whether it’s roadwork, new homes, or renovations of an old building you’ll soon be hearing hammers and seeing construction boots in or around your neighborhood. This increase in construction work has a corresponding impact on the number of New Jersey workplace injuries.
Construction sites are a leading location for employee and worker injuries. Per population, more construction workers are hurt each year than in retail, trade and transportation work, or utility services. In New Jersey, the majority of these construction injuries and illnesses impact electrical contractors, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning professionals, and building contractors. This explains why as new homes are going up, so does the number of workers reporting New Jersey workplace injuries.
Road and highway projects also lead to a higher number of workplace injuries. In any given summer, there can be double the number of employees working on road crews and highway projects over the summer. This work also requires heavy lifting, use of machinery and heavy equipment, the movement of large materials, and long hours engaged in physical labor. When combined, these conditions inevitably lead to injuries and illnesses. With more people engaged in this work over the summer months, we see a rise in the number of reported construction injuries.
Heat and Humidity Can Impact Employees
The warmer weather has a further impact on the number of New Jersey workplace injuries – it can lead to heat exhaustion and faster fatigue. Typically, when a worker becomes overheated or exhausted from high outdoor temperatures, a high intake of water and rest are the cure. However, in some situations, intense physical labor, long hours, or sun exposure can lead to far more serious situations.
Throughout the summer, construction workers, summer camp employees, lifeguards, gardeners and lawn care specialists, and hospitality workers are admitted to the hospital or seek medical treatment for heat and sun illnesses. The possible conditions caused by prolonged heat or sun exposure include intense sunburn, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke.
Inexperienced Workers Taking Summer Jobs
Summer jobs for high school and university students are a staple of the warmer months. Young adults are taking positions at local swimming pools, nearby event centers, and retail stores. For many students, this summer will be their first ever job, and for another subset of young workers, it will be their first time working in a new industry. There are certain to be some bumps, scrapes, and other injuries along the way.
Most of the injuries to young workers are minor and don’t require New Jersey workers’ compensation, but even part-time and seasonal employees are entitled to New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits when needed. These young employees don’t have the same problems with repetitive motion or overuse injuries but are more likely than experienced workers to cause accidents, rush through their duties, or misinterpret instructions. By the end of the summer, there will be several reports of New Jersey workplace injuries caused by inexperience or young workers.
Talk with a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If a Maple Shade, Burlington, or Mount Laurel, New Jersey workplace injury requires medical attention, hospitalization, or rehabilitation then you have the right to recoup the costs of these medical costs through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. This process begins when you report the workplace injury or illness to your manager or the human resources department at your company. However, there are several steps to follow before your claim will be approved.
Questions about your New Jersey workplace injuries or the process of workers’ compensation can be directed to top New Jersey lawyer, Albert Talone. Contact our local law office by calling (856)-234-4023.
The information in this blog post (“Post”) is provided for general informational purposes only. This information may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this Post should be construed as legal advice from The Law Office of Albert J. Talone or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.