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Climate & Comp: NCCI Session Spells out Hazards of Hot, Cold Weather

16 May, 2024 Frank Ferreri

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Orlando, FL ( -- It's become fairly well-known that as temperatures go up, so do workers' injuries.

But the hazards aren't limited to hot days, as Anae Myers and Patrick Coate explained in Challenges for Today's Worker—The Big Three Physical Space | Mental Health | Environmental Impact​ at NCCI's Annual Insights Symposium Wednesday.

Taking a look at global warming, Coate, a senior economist at NCCI, noted that 2023 was the warmest year on record and explained that the heat, and all extreme weather, affect different locations differently. For example, hot weather events will have more of an impact on workers in a place like Miami while cold weather impacts will be felt more significantly in a place like Minneapolis.

"How much are different places affected by increased heat and extreme weather, and how much could they be?" Coate said.

Days that are cold and wet present increased hazards due, largely, to slips and falls. When there is precipitation and freezing temperatures, injuries increase across all industries, including among office workers. In addition to slippery sidewalks and parking lots, roads are more treacherous.

Of course, not all of the country sees freezing temperatures on the regular, so the risks involved with changes in cold temperatures tend to be limited to cold-weather locations.

Heat, on the other hand, works differently in contributing to injuries.

Coate explained that changes in heat show the same additional impact on workers everywhere. So, injuries go up at the same rates when temps jump from 70 to 75, 80 to 85, or 90 to 95.

Who's affected the most when the mercury inches upward? Not surprisingly, construction workers and outdoor workers bear the brunt of claims.

Still, Coate noted that it's not just heat employers, carriers, and workers should worry about, but all extreme weather.

"Worker injuries increase by as much as 10% on very hot days as well as on cold and wet days," he said.

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    About The Author

    • Frank Ferreri

      Frank Ferreri, M.A., J.D. covers workers' compensation legal issues. He has published books, articles, and other material on multiple areas of employment, insurance, and disability law. Frank received his master's degree from the University of South Florida and juris doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Frank encourages everyone to consider helping out the Kind Souls Foundation and Kids' Chance of America.

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