Outdoor workers in Oklahoma face countless hazards, depending on the type of work they do, the amount of time they spend working outside, the season and the particular region in which they work. Employers must inform workers of all the potential risks they may encounter. Employees must also receive safety training that will teach outdoor workers how to prevent workplace injuries.
The physical dangers of outdoor work include extreme heat that could lead to heat-related illnesses, some of which could be fatal. Excessive exposure to the UV rays of the sun could cause skin cancer. During winter, they will risk exposure to extreme cold, with consequences including frostbite, hypothermia and more. Extended periods of exposure to loud noise can result in irreversible hearing loss and tinnitus.
When it comes to biological hazards, outdoor workers face exposure to stinging insects, venomous spiders, snakes and scorpions. Ticks and mosquitoes could carry parasites, viruses or other disease-causing bacteria and agents. Skin contact with poisonous plants can lead to allergic reactions, and toxins can be inhaled when poisonous plants are burned. Further dangers of outdoor work include chemical hazards such as pesticides along with potential traumatic physical injuries.
While precautions might prevent most workplace injuries, the risks of landing in a hospital will always exist. When this happens, injured workers will likely be eligible for financial assistance through the Oklahoma workers' compensation insurance system. Although it is a no-fault program, claiming benefits could be a challenging process. For that reason, many injured workers seek the support and guidance of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to help them recover medical expenses and lost wages.