Can You Make Employees Work without AC in Georgia?
Cutting costs here and there can help your business save money. So, what about turning off the A/C? Can you make your employees work without air conditioning in Georgia?
If you make employees work without A/C in Georgia, productivity might go down, and accidents might go up. Heat exhaustion can lead to injuries that result in Workers’ Compensation claims, which can also increase your premiums. Georgia does not mandate that employers provide air conditioning for their employees, but failing to might be considered willfully allowing a hazardous environment for workers. If your employees work outside, you can protect them from overheating by requiring regular breaks and ensuring they have reliable access to water.
For more information about the Georgia Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers at NPN Brokers, call us today at (866) 340-9120.
What Can Happen if You Make Employees Work without AC in Georgia?
Several things might happen if you make employees work without A/C in Georgia. Productivity might go down as workers become more exhausted due to the heat. Exhaustion and dehydration can cause lightheadedness and result in serious accidents. All of this can lead to Workers’ Compensation claims, which can end up being more expensive for your company than simply running the air conditioning in the summer.
Accidents and Injuries
Heat exhaustion can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and cramping. Workers might faint or fall if made to work without A/C/, causing them to sustain serious injuries like broken bones or fractures. Injuries might be even more devastating depending on the nature of a worker’s profession and the height from which they fell. Prolonged dehydration can even cause seizures. Not providing your employees with air conditioning can be a dangerous risk, especially in areas with incredibly hot temperatures and high humidity, like Georgia.
Workers’ Comp Claims
Workers’ Compensation claims can arise out of injuries caused by heat exhaustion or dehydration. Injuries related to overheating can cause employees to be gone from work for a considerable amount of time, leading to expensive claims. Your carrier will pay those claims out and might respond by increasing your Workers’ Compensation premiums.
Suppose an employee cites that the ultimate cause of their injuries was their employer’s failure to provide them with air conditioning. In that case, a carrier might drop a policy in response to an employer’s lack of interest in their employees’ safety. Companies can call our Georgia Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers in such situations to find coverage quickly. Our brokers can get you a quote in as little as a day, which is important, as a lapse in coverage can lead to financial penalties for companies in Georgia.
When people are hot, it is harder to focus on work. If you make employees work without air conditioning, morale in the workplace might go down, as well as productivity. Workers might be frustrated with the lack of concern for their comfort and express that frustration in various ways. Some workers might even quit their jobs if they aren’t provided a workplace with air conditioning.
Do You Have to Provide AC to Workers in Georgia?
Anyone living in Georgia knows how hot temperatures can get, especially in the summer. If you own a company and want to cut costs, you might have considered turning off the A/C. But can you legally do that?
There are no specific laws in Georgia that dictate the temperature employers have to keep indoor workplaces at. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does provide guidance and suggestions regarding workplace temperatures, recommending they stay within the realm of 68 to 76 degrees. In addition to recommending indoor temperatures, OSHA enforces a general duty clause, which requires a business to maintain a workplace free from health and safety hazards. Extreme heat can cause dehydration and exhaustion, which can considerably threaten workers’ safety in Georgia. That is to say, failing to provide air conditioning to employees might be considered hazardous.
If an employee is injured at work because of overheating due to a lack of air conditioning, they might file a Workers’ Compensation in addition to a complaint with OSHA. This might lead to penalties and consequences from OSHA, as well as a thorough investigation into your company’s practices.
Preventing Workplace Injuries Due to a Lack of AC in Georgia
Suppose you cannot provide air conditioning to your employees, whether because your unit is broken or because your employees work outside. In that case, there are still ways for you to prevent injuries due to overheating or dehydration in Georgia.
Providing their workers with A/C isn’t an option for many employers. This primarily refers to construction companies or other businesses that operate primarily outdoors. Even if your workers are working outside under the hot Georgia sun, you can implement certain procedures to ensure they stay safe.
The first is requiring that employees take regular breaks. You can set up a tent or shaded area so that employees have a refuge that is shielded from the sun. Providing access to fans or other cooling devices is also helpful. Explain to your workers the common signs of dehydration so that they can recognize symptoms in one another.
Also, encourage workers to wear clothing that protects them from the sun, like hats. Sunscreen is also important so that employees do not burn. Above all else, providing unlimited access to water is essential. Exposure to high temperatures means employees will sweat and lose the water held in their bodies. Replenishing that water supply is necessary so that workers remain clear-minded and hydrated despite working in hot temperatures in Georgia.
If you are unable to provide employees with A/C because they work outside, getting Workers’ Compensation is even more important, as there might be an increased risk of accidents and injuries.
Get Workers’ Comp Insurance in Georgia
Call NPN Brokers at (866) 340-9120 to speak with our Georgia Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers about getting coverage today.
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