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Staying Safe at Work in the Summer Heat

Worker suffers with heat illnessIf you have ever experienced heat illness, you know just how miserable it can be. You know that your body is overheating when you begin to experience flu-like symptoms. You may even become disoriented and confused. For people who work in the summer heat and can’t find escape from high humidity, the danger of heat illness is very real.

Employers and employees share responsibility in avoiding heat illness. In 2014, more than 2,500 workers suffered with some form of heat illness and 18 people died from heat stroke. These illnesses and deaths are preventable. Here’s what you can do.

Employers

OSHA says that you are responsible for providing a safe workplace for your employees. This includes protecting them from the hazards of heat. If your workers are routinely exposed to high temperatures, you need to establish a prevention program.

  • Provide water, shade and frequent breaks.
  • Allow those workers who are not used to the heat to build their tolerance by providing increasing workloads and more frequent breaks.
  • Make a plan for emergencies and provide training for that plan.
  • Monitor your employees closely for any signs of heat illness and take appropriate action when you notice symptoms.

Employees

You are the only person who knows how you feel. Many of the symptoms of heat illness are internal and the best way to deal with it is to avoid it altogether.

  • Wear light colored clothing and loose layers.
  • Drink water every 15 minutes.
  • Take a break in the shade when you can.
  • Pay attention to your co-workers for signs of heat illness.
  • Take your time to get used to the heat before you take on heavy workloads.
  • Know the signs of heat illness and what to do if you experience symptoms.

If you or anyone near you is experiencing symptoms of heat illness, notify a supervisor immediately. If there is no supervisor available, call 911. Stay with the person until medical help arrives.

When you need assistance filing for workers’ compensation in Charlotte, call our office. A member of our experienced team will provide you with a free case evaluation and help you take the next steps. Call us today or browse our website for more information about our firm.

Posted In: Workers' Compensation
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