Heat-Related Injuries and Workers’ Compensation
Colorado work injury attorney R. Mack Babcock cautions outside workers about the dangers of heat-caused illnesses and discusses your legal rights to injury compensation
Every year, thousands of Americans suffer heat-related injuries, illnesses and even death while on the job. Many workers who are exposed to heat-intense working conditions can suffer long term effects entitling them to certain workers’ compensation benefits. Many of these heat-caused health issues could have been avoided if proper precaution and procedures had been made.
According to WebMD, there are a variety of symptoms one may experience during heat exhaustion, including:
- Fatigue and extreme dizziness
- Excessive thirst
- Confusion or anxiety
- Weakness, including a slow or weak heartbeat
- Headache and achy muscles
An even more dangerous heat-related health problem that often arises in hot work zones is heat stroke, which can occur very suddenly and without warning symptoms. In some instances, heat stroke may show some of the symptoms listed above, as well as convulsions, a rapid rise in body temperature to about 104 degrees, drenching sweat and dry skin.
If you feel you or someone you are working with is experiencing these symptoms, call for medical attention immediately.
Before medical help arrives there are some basic things you will need to do to help yourself or the person affected:
- Get to shade immediately.
- Stop what you’re doing and rest.
- Drink water and plenty of it.
Employer’s Duty to Protect Workers from Heat
Hopefully, the company you are working for has adequate heat prevention measures in place to avoid these kinds of situations. Below are precautions that should be taken by your employer:
- Allow frequent breaks for their employees working outdoors.
- Make certain the employee has proper clothing for the heat.
- Check heat index to know when it is entirely too hot to be conducting a particular job.
- Allow plenty of water breaks for the workers.
- Provide some sort of shade for breaks.
If you are an outdoor worker, it is recommended before taking a job to make certain of the type of conditions you will be subjected to and whether the employer is willing to take proper safety precautions for their employees. If they don’t, and you sustain heat-related work injuries as a result, then compensation for medical expenses and missed time at work should be in order.
If you or a loved one has suffered a heat-caused injury due to hazardous working conditions and workers’ comp coverage is denied, then contact our highly experienced Colorado workers’ compensation attorney R Mack Babcock for a free consultation.
While the Babcock Law Firm tirelessly works to obtain successful outcomes for its clients, prior positive outcomes are no guarantee of future success. Indicating prior positive results is in no way intended to guarantee future results.