According to OSHA, an astounding 2,630 outdoor workers were affected by heat-related illness in 2014. This statistic may lead you to believe that heat illnesses are impossible to avoid when working outside, but that’s not the case – they’re actually very preventable. Whether you’re a construction worker, a lifeguard, a landscaper or a farmer, there are many simple steps you can take to protect yourself against heat exhaustion and other illnesses. Here are some of the most effective:
- Drink water continuously throughout the day. While laboring in the heat, you should drink about seven ounces of water every 15 minutes, even if you aren’t thirsty. Doing so will compensate for the fact that you are sweating more than usual and ensure that your body maintains an appropriate level of fluid.
- Dress for the weather. When working in direct sunlight, light-colored clothing is your best bet because it absorbs little heat. You should also choose clothing made of breathable materials that won’t trap heat against your body.
- Give yourself time to adjust. Remember that it takes about a week to build up a tolerance to hot weather. When starting a new job or returning from a vacation, take it easy and don’t try to do more than your body can handle. If possible, rotate working outdoors with doing jobs in a cool indoor area until you get used to the heat.
- Take breaks as needed. It’s very important to take a few minutes to cool off and rest every now and then, especially if you’re doing labor-intensive work. By giving your body breaks throughout the day, you’ll feel more energized and ready to take on your work.
- Know the signs of heat-related illness. As an outdoor worker, it’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion, which occurs when the body loses too much fluid. The most common signs include dizziness, weakness, nausea, fast heartbeat, headache and clammy skin. If you see a coworker exhibiting any of these symptoms, have them move to a cool place and drink water immediately. Failing to take fast action may result in heat stroke, which can be deadly in some cases.
Following these tips will lessen your chance of falling ill as a result of working in high temperatures.
Affected by a Heat Illness at Work? Call Us!
By law, employers are required to allow outdoor workers to take frequent breaks to cool down or drink water. But unfortunately, some companies don’t follow this rule, thereby putting workers at risk for heat-related illness or even death.
If you’ve sustained a heat illness that was brought on or worsened by your employer, you may be entitled to compensation. To file a case, you’ll need a skilled Bucks County workers compensation lawyer on your side. That’s where the Heslin Law Firm can help. For years, we’ve been known as the workers compensation attorney Bucks County residents can trust for heat illnesses, work injuries and many other types of cases. We work tirelessly to help our clients win the compensation they deserve for their suffering and losses.
To set up a free consultation with our workers compensation lawyer in Bucks County, call (215) 332-0300 now. And if you have kids, be sure to read our post on protecting your children from summertime injuries.