How To Protect Employees From Heat-Related Injuries

Summertime heat waves can often result in serious heat illness injuries. Outdoor workers are especially susceptible to the heat and the injuries it can cause. The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a campaign to educate workers and employers about the risks of heat illness and how to stay safe in hot weather.

OSHA says that to understand heat illness, you must understand how your body cools itself. Usually sweating helps cool the body, but in hot weather, sweating can’t cool the body down fast enough, causing its temperatures to rise to dangerous levels.

What Does Heat Rash Cause?

This can cause heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustions and/or heat stroke. Heat rash and cramps are usually minor and can clear up quickly, but if they aren’t treated quickly, they can result in complications such as skin infections and muscle related injuries. Heat exhaustion and heatstroke, however, are very serious, potentially life-threatening conditions that need to be treated immediately.

How to Prevent Heat Rash

To prevent heat illnesses amongst their workers, employers need to provide workplaces that are safe from excessive heat. They need to provide water to drink, have resting places in the shade, and allow frequent breaks. It’s also vital that employees and employers both are educated about the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and what they can do to prevent them.

When working in the sun, make sure you drink water every 15 minutes, rest in the shade and wear a hat. Wear light-colored clothing and watch out for heat illness signs in yourself and in other workers.

You may be able to file for compensation if you or a loved one sustained injuries while working in the hot summer temperatures.

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Kenneth G. Marks has been practicing personal injury law since he was admitted to the California Bar in