Mosquito Dangers for WorkersJuly 24, 2019
Mosquitoes are more than just pesky insects that leave itchy, irritating bites behind. They are also carriers of many harmful diseases, such as the West Nile virus, malaria, dengue, the Zika virus, and the Chikungunya virus. Infected mosquitoes can spread these diseases through a human population with their bites. Most people bitten by an infected mosquito do not become sick, but it is possible to suffer illness ranging from mild to severe. Some severe cases can be fatal.
There are different species of mosquito that live in different geographic locations. Types of mosquito-borne illnesses also vary from place to place. Risk to workers can be determined by their work location, the season, and the time of day. Activity times for mosquitoes vary by species and geographic location, however, dawn and dusk are the times when they are most active.
Workers at risk for infection by mosquito bites include those who work outdoors, such as landscapers and construction workers. Mosquito-borne diseases can be transmitted to healthcare workers and laboratory workers via infected samples or handling infected patients with open wounds.
Preventing Mosquito-Borne Diseases
To protect their workers, employers should be vigilant about reducing the opportunity for mosquitoes to reproduce. This means eliminating sources of standing water where they lay their eggs and using screens on windows and doors to prevent them from entering indoor worksites. Mosquitoes need very little water to lay their tiny eggs; even a bottle cap provides enough water for them to reproduce. Common sources of standing water include:
- Ruts and ditches
These water sources should be removed or emptied regularly. Where applicable, drainage holes can be placed to prevent water from collecting. Workers should be provided with training on the risks of contracting mosquito-borne diseases and how to prevent bites. The use of clothing to protect the arms, legs, and other exposed skin should be promoted. In areas where mosquito swarms are unavoidable, hats with mosquito netting to protect the face and neck area should be used.
Insect repellents with DEET or other Environmental Protection Agency-registered active ingredients can be effective, but workers must be instructed on their safe use and always follow label instructions. For instance, never use insect repellent on skin that will be under clothing, that is irritated, or has open wounds. If sunscreen is being used, it should be applied before any insect repellent is used. Some repellents, such as permethrin, can be applied directly to clothing and gear.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman and Hamilton Recover Compensation for Sick and Injured Workers
If you or someone you love was injured in a work-related accident, contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman and Hamilton. We will help injured workers and their families recover compensation to aid in recovery from workplace accidents. Call us at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation about your case. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.