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It’s a Scorcher, Don’t Get Burnt It’s a Scorcher, Don’t Get Burnt

It’s a Scorcher, Don’t Get Burnt

For employers, rising temperatures during warmer months can be problematic and lead to heat-related injuries and illnesses. These injuries, if experienced while on the job, can lead to compensable workers’ compensation claims. Employees exposed to dangerously hot temperatures are at risk of suffering from injuries ranging in severity, such as: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rash, sunburn, and in extreme cases, heat stroke or even death. Suffering from these conditions may also lead to other work-related injuries and accidents. 

Employers should be on the lookout for symptoms such as: heavy sweating, confusion, nausea, dizziness, muscle cramps, headaches, and loss of consciousness. While the contributing factors for heat-related injuries and illnesses may seem obvious, OSHA highlights factors to be extreme heat, limited air circulation, physical exertion, dehydration, high humidity, and bulky protective equipment or uniforms. Employees working inside are also susceptible to heat-related injuries and illnesses. In fact, the use of motorized fans within confined spaces are likely to exacerbate heat-related issues, not help.

These injuries and illnesses are preventable. Employers should ensure their workers can minimize direct exposure to the sun, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of cool water, dress in light layers, have access to air conditioning, and take breaks when necessary. Employers with outdoor employees should also consider a “Heat Illness Prevention Program” to institute and oversee heat-related injury and illness prevention. Click here to learn more

Stay cool. And keep your employees cooler.

For more information about this issue, contact Amy Flowers or the Workers' Compensation lawyer with whom you most frequently work.

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader's specific circumstances.
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