The Virginia summer has been a brutal one when it comes to weather. That is especially for people who make their living outdoors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, more than 50 percent of jobs required at least a portion of the work to be done outside.
People who work outside have a much greater risk of dehydration that those who work inside, and business operators must keep that in mind. Even though fall and winter await, MedExpress, which is billed as one of the nation’s largest occupational medicine and workers’ compensation providers, says it sees dehydration-related workers’ comp visits as late as November.
Dehydration visits begin again in March, typically. That means employers really can’t take any time off when it comes to keeping workers safe from dehydration.
It is recommended that Americans drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Research has shown that as many as 75 percent of Americans don’t reach that level each day. That means that employees could be showing up at work already dehydrated. That could mean that the worksite’s safety could be compromised by a worker’s dehydration, since it can cause confusion, headaches and more.
Even slight dehydration can affect the health, safety and productivity of workers. It’s important that they know the signs of dehydration, which include dry mouth, fatigue and dizziness. It is important that employers include hydration advice in all safety training sessions and develop education materials for bulletin boards. Remind employees to take water bottles on the job.
Employers can help by providing reusable water bottles workers can fill and placing water stations on the job site, especially in hot conditions.
Employees can get sick on the job from dehydration and wind up passing out on the job which can lead to serious injuries. If you have been affected by dehydration, you could miss work for an extended time and have a workers’ compensation claim to make. An attorney who works with workers’ compensation cases can advise you.