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Monitor safety risks more closely during summer

by on
in Employment Law,Human Resources

More employers are adopting a popular summertime perk: closing early (or even shutting down) on Fridays during summer. More than a quarter of companies polled by Hewitt Associates have turned to such summer work schedules, which typically run from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Most of these employers ask employees to work an hour or two longer on Monday through Thursday to make up for the Friday closing. For employees, the head start on the weekend is hugely popular and boosts morale. For you, it can save on costly overhead when business is traditionally slower.

The danger: Summer hours can present one less-obvious risk: Studies say more workplace accidents and injuries occur during the hot summer months.

Top reason: employees filling in on jobs for vacationing co-workers.

To help you prevent such injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published the following:

Working Outdoors is a two-page fact sheet with advice on how to manage potential hazards for outdoor workers, including exposure to UV radiation, extreme heat, Lyme disease and West Nile Virus. Visit www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/working-outdoors-factsheet.pdf.

Heat Stress Card is a laminated fold-up card designed for supervisors and employees to carry in wallets (available in English or Spanish). It describes warning signs and symptoms of heat ailments, plus tips on early treatment. Review it at www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3154.pdf. Order free laminated cards by calling OSHA at (202) 693-1888.

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