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Hot weather increases workplace injuries indoors, outdoors

Hot weather significantly increases the risk of workplace accidents and injuries, according to a study released Friday by the University of California-Los Angeles.

Using data from California’s workers compensation system from 2001 to 2018 and state weather data, researchers from UCLA found that the incidence of compensable injuries increased 6% to 9% on days when temperatures were above 90 degrees Fahrenheit compared with days when the temperature is in the 50s or 60s. When the temperature is above 100 degrees, the risk of injuries increased by 10% to 15%, regardless of whether the work was performed inside or outside.

The study also noted that heat-related injuries declined after 2005 when California implemented mandatory heat illness prevention measures.

The researchers estimate that high temperatures in the state currently cause about 15,000 injuries a year and that the cost of heat-related injuries ranges from $750 million to $1.25 billion in the state due to health care costs, lost wages and productivity and disability claims.

This article was first published in Business Insurance.

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