Heat Illness Is a Work Injury

Have you missed work due to heat illness contracted at your place of employment? This is considered a work injury, and you may be able to file a claim. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with the legal experts at Pond Lehocky Giordano LLP, call 1-800-568-7500 or fill out our contact form today.

Everyone is feeling the heat this summer. As we contend with another scorching heat wave, we want to ensure that you’re familiar with the dangers of heat illness and know how to protect yourself and others from soaring temperatures in the workplace.

What is Heat Illness?

If someone exerts themselves too much physically in high temperatures or otherwise has prolonged exposure to excessive heat, they can contract heat illness. Those working in industries like construction, agriculture, mail delivery, and manufacturing are especially at risk. It’s important to remember that heat illness can occur in both indoor and outdoor environments.

Preventing Heat Illness at Work

Too often, we see workplaces fail to follow the “20% rule” – on your first day in a hot work environment, do not work more than 20% of a shift at full intensity in the heat. Increase your time by no more than 20% a day until you are used to working in the heat. Your body needs time to adapt. Other ways you can safeguard against heat illness include:

  • Drink Cool Water – drink at least one cup of cool water every 20 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Take Rest Breaks – take time to recover from the heat in a shady or cool location.
  • Dress for the Heat – wear a hat and light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing if possible.
  • Change Your Face Covering – if you are wearing a face covering, change it if it gets wet or soiled.
  • Watch Out for Your Coworkers – monitor yourself and others for signs of heat illness.

When in doubt, always remember: Water. Rest. Shade.

Examples of Heat Illness

Common examples of heat illness include:

  • Heat Stroke
  • Heat Exhaustion
  • Heat Cramps
  • Heat Rash

If a coworker is exhibiting symptoms of heat exhaustion like dizziness, headache, heavy sweating, irritability, nausea, thirst, cramps, or muscle weakness, they should be taken to a clinic or emergency room for medical evaluation and treatment. If they are experiencing seizures, confusion, or loss of consciousness, call 911 – heat stroke is a medical emergency that can result in death.

Remember: to help prevent or alleviate the symptoms of any of these heat illnesses, be sure to drink plenty of water and take regular rest breaks in a shady or cool location.

Don’t Sweat It Out. Call Pond Lehocky Giordano Today!

If you miss work because of a heat illness contracted at your place of employment, contact us for a free workers’ compensation case evaluation. You may be able to file a claim.

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