Many employees would probably not immediately believe it if they were told they could file a workers’ comp claim for heat exhaustion or heat stroke. But heat-related illnesses, just like any other workplace injury, are nothing to take lightly. Heat-related illnesses can have both short-term and long-term effects on one’s ability to perform and work. We discuss these important matters by starting with the different kinds of professionals that are most susceptible to heat-related illnesses.
Working in construction is one of the most difficult professions, especially in the summer. To make matters worse, construction companies tend to be the busiest when temperatures get warmer. With construction workers working eight-hour shifts with little time to rest or break, they are at high risk for heat exhaustion and heat exposure.
While warehouse workers, such as construction workers, may not be working directly under the sun, they still work in extreme temperatures. The issue with these work settings is that warehouses are often not built or equipped with insulation. Some warehouses may not even have adequate cooling systems. It is important for managers and business owners to look into insulating warehouses, as well as updating their cooling, so as to lessen the risk of accidents on the job.
There are other professions where they are working outside the entire day, such as landscaping, yard/house workers, cleaning workers, power washers, and many more. Oftentimes, these professionals take up another job right after finishing a project, meaning they are outdoors all day. Many more young workers enter these professions, but nonetheless, these working conditions can take a toll on anyone.
Dry, hot days pose many problems for farmers. Not only does the extreme heat dry up produce, but they also have to tend to their animals. Working outside all day, these settings can become extremely uncomfortable for these workers. Farmers are also prone to heat stress and heat exhaustion because of the heavy apparel they wear and the equipment they use.
Movers and labor workers, in addition, have to be extremely careful when working outside. Similar to other professions we have mentioned, it is also important for them to take breaks and stay hydrated, especially if they can find time between jobs. Without taking these measures, workers will become tired faster and may even fall ill, unable to perform their jobs.
How and When Heat Stroke Can be Considered for a Claim
Falling ill due to extreme heat is just as serious as any other kind of accident or work-related injury. The first and most important thing you must do if you have experienced heat exhaustion while working is get in touch with a workers’ comp lawyer. Having a professional by your side is important in the case that employers argue that your condition was caused by a preexisting condition. You don’t have to worry if your claim is denied because a dedicated professional will not stop there.
A workers’ comp lawyer can also help you obtain:
- Medical records
- Data records from the date of your injury
- Witness testimonies from co-workers
All of these elements factor into a workers’ comp claim at some point or another.
How to Avoid Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke While on the Job
Slowly Adjust to High Temperature-Environments
Employers should allow employees to adjust to the conditions they will be working in. Employers also need to be more attentive to when their employees are not feeling well so that they can prevent an accident or workplace injury from happening. Employers must also gradually increase workloads, ensuring that their employees are not doing too much all at once in extreme weather conditions.
Drink Enough Water
It is absolutely crucial to take some time to drink water and refill. All you need is a couple of minutes in between work to take necessary breaks and rest time. According to the Centers for Disease Control, you should be drinking a cup of water (8 ounces) every 15 to 20 minutes if you work in the heat. Drinking in shorter intervals is proven to be more effective than drinking more infrequently.
Distribute Breaks Throughout the Day
Just as we mentioned, it is necessary to take a couple of breaks here and there, if and when you can. When moving from one project or assignment to another, take advantage of this time to find shade, cool down, sit in cooled air, and drink plenty of water. Every part of our bodies needs rest. Failure to do so can lead to serious health concerns and illness.
Schedule Work During Cooler Hours of the Day
You can easily avoid issues and workplace injuries simply by considering the best work conditions for your employees. If you, as an employer, can find time for your employees to work earlier or later in the day, you should reconsider their shifts. This is especially something to think about if your employees have plenty of work scheduled for the summer months.
Work Through a Workers’ Comp Claim with a Professional
If you have recently suffered a workplace injury related to or unrelated to the heat, it is important to get started on a workers’ comp claim right away. You can contact our law office by calling (915) 751-0896 to get started on your claim.