At some workplaces, workers will be exposed to extreme heat or have to work in hot environments. In these cases, these workers are at risk of heat stress and exposure to certain temperatures that could very well result in occupational illnesses and injuries. The best way to lower the risk of heat stroke in employees? Prevention is most important. This can be done through training workers to understand what heat stroke is, how it could affect safety on the job, and working on preventing it.
Heat stroke is a very serious heat-related disorder, though it is commonly seen in these types of environments. It takes place when the body becomes unable to control its temperature and the sweating mechanism in the body fails. When the body is unable to cool down, dangerous effects take place. When heat stroke occurs, the body’s temperature can rise to an outstanding 106 degrees or higher within 10 to 15 minutes time. It can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given. There are many symptoms, including hot and dry skin, hallucinations, chills, throbbing headache, high bodily temperature, and slurred speech.
What is the Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation?
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It is a general rule that workers are able to gain workers’ compensation for most work-related injuries. This means that the injury has to have been caused by or aggravated by your work duties or the condition of your workplace. This puts things into perspective when it comes to heat stroke – if you want to receive workers’ compensation benefits as a result of this condition, you would need to prove that having to work outside in the heat was what caused the injury. The only issue with this is that an employer could argue on behalf of themselves that the heat stroke was actually caused by a preexisting condition in the employee – for instance, obese people may be more at risk for heat stroke because of their susceptibility.
What Protection is Offered for Employees?
Heat stroke is actually a prevalent injury amongst outdoor workers. Several states, as a result, have laws that require employers to take certain steps to protect employees from heat stroke. For instance, in Washington, the General Occupational Health Standards have a set of Outdoor Heat Exposure rules that are applicable between May 1 and September 30 every year. The program ensures heat exposure safety that includes a written heat exposure safety program, water must be provided to keep employees hydrated, and treatment must always be provided. In other states like Texas and California, similar rules have been adopted. One must always check their state’s laws for requirements to see where they stand on this issue.
If you or a loved one has suffered from heat stroke or another heat-related illness on the job, then you may be entitled to compensation from your injuries. You will want an attorney on your side to help you with your claim. Call MDL today for a free consultation from a lawyer who knows the complex laws surrounding personal injury law.