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Outdoor workers: Safety tips to avoid on-the-job injury

As spring and summer roll in, a lot of workers inevitably head outdoors. Colorado workers in professions such as construction, landscaping, and roofing may be at risk for on-the-job injury if safety measures aren't practiced carefully.

Outdoor workers face a variety of other safety hazards which can lead to on-the-job injury including afternoon heat, heavy lifting and bending, and the use of power tools and sharp implements. Officials point out that working under the hot sun is one of the most extreme hazards in the summer, and they are trying to educate workers and employers about safety.

Three main words to remember for outdoor workers: water, rest and shade. According to the secretary of labor, these words can make the difference between life and death. Labor Department statistics show that thousands of workers across the U.S. suffer from heat-related injuries and illnesses each year. The numbers show that since 2003, more than 30 workers have died due to heat stroke annually.

Government officials say that employers and workers should pay attention to symptoms such as an elevated body temperature, heat cramps or rash, and exhaustion.

Colorado workers who are injured or become ill as a result of their job should know that there may be help for them as they face medical expenses and recovery time. Colorado workers' compensation laws cover workers who suffer from on-the-job injury or illness, making help available. And these important benefits may be just what the doctor ordered to cover outstanding expenses related to the work injury while also covering lost wages to cover missed time from work.

Source: Fox News Latino, "How to Beat the Heat if You Work Outdoors," Tracy Lopez, May 10, 2012

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