As the temperatures outside continue to rise over the next few months, the number of on-the-job accidents and injuries is likely to increase as well. For people in a variety of occupations, overexposure to the Florida sun, heat, and humidity can make the workday miserable, while leaving them vulnerable to injuries and medical conditions that can be serious and potentially life threatening. While the duties of your job may require you to spend your workday being exposed to heat and high temperatures, there are some ways to ensure your safety as you go about your business, as well as warning signs of heat exposure that you should be aware of.
Symptoms of Work-Related Injuries Caused By Heat Exposure
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), heat exposure is a serious on-the-job injury risk factor for workers in a variety of occupations. Workers in foundries, in the agriculture, construction, and oil and gas industries, and health service workers, service industry employees, and military members are all vulnerable to heat-related injuries that can have serious effects on your overall health. Among the most common types of injuries suffered by workers include heat rashes, cramps, and exhaustion, as well as heat stroke, which can end up resulting in sudden death. Symptoms of heat-related illnesses include the following:
- Heavy sweating, and running a high temperature;
- Suffering headaches or confusion;
- Feeling lightheaded, dizzy or fainting;
- Nausea, stomach cramps, and vomiting;
- Racing heartbeat, increased irritability, and excessive fatigue; and
- Pain and cramping, particularly in the chest, legs, and abdominal region.
Workers suffering these symptoms should notify their employer and seek medical treatment immediately.
Preventing Overexposure to Heat While On the Job
According to the Centers Disease Control and Prevention, there are a number of ways that both workers as well as their employers can help to reduce and prevent heat related in the job accidents and injuries.
- Make sure new workers are allowed to acclimate to conditions on the job.
- Limit the time workers spend in the heat and use tools to reduce the amount of manual labor.
- Make use of heat absorbing and reflective barriers and shields.
- Provide plenty of water along with shaded rest areas on the worksites.
- Make supervisors and crew leaders aware of the signs of heat stress as well as how to respond.
- Learn the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.
- Use a buddy system to watch for signs and to ensure workers take breaks.
- Drink plenty of water, and wear lightweight, loose clothing that will shield you from the sun.
- Avoiding using alcohol and caffeine when working in the heat.
Contact Us for Help
If you or someone you love has been involved in an on the job accident or suffered a work related injury, contact our experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorneys right away. At Hogan Frick Law, we provide aggressive legal representation to assist you in getting the medical benefits and compensation you are entitled to, while ensuring your rights and interests are protected.