Pennsylvania employers and employees alike should realize that warm weather often poses some unusual hazards in the workplace. Both indoor and outdoor workplaces may face threats from animals and insects that become more active as the temperature rises. This increased activity can lead to a rise in employee injuries from a variety of animal-related causes.
Venomous snakes, bees and ticks often pose a threat of infestation. Raccoons, rats, bats and bears are also potential threats that employers and employees should look out for when in an outdoor working environment. Insect-borne diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease, are serious hazards and can cause long-lasting harm to workers who contract them. Employees who conduct a significant portion of their jobs outside in areas that are known to be populated with ticks are at an increased risk of these types of illnesses.
Even when the cause of injury is not known, workers’ compensation may cover the medical expenses that are incurred by the victim. Allergic reactions such as those caused by a bee sting are also typically covered. Employers can reduce the risk of these types of workplace injuries by informing employees about potential hazards such as allergens and other animal threats.
Regardless of the precautions that are taken, it is an unfortunate fact that many workers are injured on the job or contract diseases due to workplace environmental conditions. Workers’ compensation is a statutory program that is designed to provide specific benefits to victims of these types of incidents. Many workers in these situations consult with an attorney for assistance in gathering the documentation to be submitted along with the claim for benefits.