In Florida, we’re used to dealing with the heat. We are fortunate to have sunny days and warm temperatures year round, but the Florida sun in the summer takes some getting used to. With summer temps in the high 90s, if you’re out in the sun, the heat index can easily rise to over a hundred. On days like these, many of us seek the comfort of air conditioning, or at least find somewhere shady to cool off a bit. Those who work outside often don’t have that luxury. Whether you work in construction, at an amusement or waterpark, or perform landscaping and other outdoor work, the heat can take a real toll. Injuries due to heat exposure can be serious and potentially life threatening. It’s important to understand how to prevent heat-related injuries, and what you can do to if you sustain one while at work.
Dangers of Heat Exposure
While outdoor workers, such as roofers, road crews, and construction workers, have it particularly hard in the summer in terms of dealing with the heat, certain types of indoor workers can face a risk of heat exposure also. Manufacturers, assemblers, warehouse workers, or people who work in bakeries, food prep or in the service industry can also face being injured or becoming ill due to high temperatures. Working in the heat is nothing to take lightly; according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), thousands of workers become ill every year due to occupational heat exposure. Common illnesses and injuries related to heat exposure include:
- Heat exhaustion;
- Heat cramping;
- Heat rashes and sunburns; and
- Heat stroke.
In addition to the above heat-related illnesses, breathing problems may be aggravated in high, humid temperatures. Workers face an increased risk of asthma attacks and bronchial problems, and fainting due to lack of oxygen is common. Accidental injuries are more common during the summer months also due to contributing factors such as sweaty palms, fogged goggles, and slippery floors from condensation.
Play It Safe In The Heat
In response to the increase in heat-related on-the-job injuries, OSHA has developed a heat safety mobile phone app which can be downloaded onto an Android or iPhone. The application allows workers to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and displays a risk level for workers. With one click, you can get reminders about certain precautions you can take when working in high temperatures, including:
- Drinking plenty of water at regular intervals;
- Scheduling rest breaks away from the heat;
- Adjusting workloads and work operations;
- Gradually building workloads for new workers; and
- Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency.
In addition to the above, the OSHA app provides training and information on the causes and symptoms associated with heat-related disorders, with the hope of preventing serious accidents or injuries before they happen.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Attorneys
If you have suffered a job-related injury or illness due to heat exposure, contact our experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorneys immediately. At Hogan Frick, we have the training an experience you need, and we’ll fight to you get the compensation and benefits you deserve. . Don’t delay; contact Hogan Frick today for a free review of your case.