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Heat-Related Illness in the Workplace

  • By: Robert Huber
  • Published: October 19, 2016
Heat-Related Illness in the Workplace

Does your job involve exposure to extreme heat?  If so, you may be at a greater risk for certain illnesses and work-related injuries.

To stay safe in a hot work environment, you need to know the facts about heat stress and take steps to prevent heat-related work injury.

However, it is not your responsibility alone to take the proper precautions to avoid heat stress.  Your employer is also responsible for providing a safe work environment, and it is incumbent upon them to help prevent heat-related injuries, as well.

If you think you may be at risk, it is crucial that you know:

  1. how to prevent work-related injury;
  2. how to proceed in the case that you suffer heat stress while on the job.

At Huber & Palsir LLC in Philadelphia, we are here to inform Pennsylvania workers who are at risk of work-related injury, and to protect their right to a safe work environment through workers’ compensation.

ARE YOU AT RISK?

 If you work outdoors or in a hot environment, you may be at an increased risk of heat stress.

Workers at a greater risk include firefighters, bakery workers, farmers, construction workers, miners, boiler room workers, and factory workers.

The risk of heat stress is higher among workers who are 65 years of age or older, overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take certain medications that may be affected by extreme heat.

TYPES OF HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS & INJURY

If you are among the workers at risk of heat stress, it is important to know the forms it can take.

Heat-related illnesses include:

  • Heat stroke
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat cramps
  • Heat rash

Exposure to heat can also increase the risk of burns & other work-related injuries due to:

  • Sweaty palms
  • Fogging up of safety glasses
  • Dizziness
  • Accidental contact with hot surfaces or steam
IS YOUR EMPLOYER PROVIDING A SAFE ENVIRONMENT?

When workers are exposed to extreme heat, it is incumbent on their employer to take steps to prevent heat-related illness.

These steps include:

  • Implementing engineering and work practice controls
  • Training workers before hot outdoor work begins, and tailoring training to cover worksite-specific conditions
  • Ensuring that workers are acclimatized before they work in a hot environment
  • Providing the means for appropriate hydration of workers
  • Encouraging workers to take appropriate rest breaks to cool down & hydrate

We at Huber & Palsir, LLC can help you determine whether your employer took the required steps to prevent your injury.

RESOURCES FOR ILL & INJURED WORKERS

If you have been affected by a heat-related illness or injury in the workplace, there are resources at your disposal, such as workers’ compensation.  At Huber & Palsir LLC in Philadelphia, we are here to help you utilize those resources.

In the case that you have been impacted by a work-injury due to heat exposure, we can help you determine the best course of action.

Stay cool, hydrated and safe — and please do not hesitate to contact us if you work in the state of Pennsylvania and have been impacted by a heat-related illness or injury!

Robert Huber

About the Author Robert A. Huber, Esquire has been in practice assisting injury and
accident victims for over 17 years, founding Huber & Palsir, LLC
in June of 2007. Read More

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