Now that summer has officially arrived, our North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys know how important it is for employers to take proper precautions for their employees who are forced to work outside in extreme heat and humidity.
The North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL) is being proactive in its heat awareness campaign of 2012, after there were four documented heat related deaths on the job in 2011. According to NCDOL records, this was the first time that there had been any heat related deaths since 2006. Overall, North Carolina had an increase in workplace deaths as they rose from 50 in 2010 to 53 in 2011. Construction led all sectors with 16. North Carolina Labor Commissioner, Cherie Berry, warns that the extreme heat and humidity creates a dangerous mix for workers and asks that employers be aware of ways to avoid heat induced injuries.
The NCDOL says that a major contributor to any heat related injury is dehydration. Various injuries can result from dehydration, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, a heat stroke or even death. It recommend that workers drink eight ounces of water every 15 minutes or so and warn that drinks containing caffeine or alcohol do not provide the hydration necessary to avoid injury.
Warning signs and symptoms of onset of serious heat related injuries for employers and workers includes the following:
• Dizziness and weakness
• Upset stomach and vomiting
• Dry and hot skin
• Mental confusion and loss of consciousness
• Seizures and convulsions
Employers can aid in the prevention of heat related injuries by starting and stopping work earlier, providing water coolers on all vehicles and keeping water on job sites. Regardless of the precautions taken, heat related injuries are bound to happen to people on construction sites who are exposed to the elements. An injury resulting from heat exposure is no different than other on the job injuries, as far as the North Carolina workers’ compensation law is concerned. All entitle an injured worker to medical benefits, weekly compensation benefits or fatal benefits to survivors.
If you, a family member or a friend have suffered from a heat related injury or lost a loved one due to a heat related death, you need to seek the advice of an attorney experienced in handling North Carolina workers’ compensation cases.
At Auger & Auger, our attorneys have nearly 40 years of experience handling a wide array of personal injury cases, including workers’ compensation. We can explain what your rights are under the North Carolina workers’ compensation law and answer any questions you have.
For your convenience, we have three offices in Charlotte, as well as two others in Greensboro and Raleigh.
Please contact us to schedule an appointment for a confidential, no obligation consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your case. We handle cases on a contingency basis. This means that you do not owe our firm a fee unless we are able to recover money damages for you.
Labor department warns of heat-related illness, The Times-Dispatch, Article by Rebekah Cansler McGee, May 15, 2012
Related Blog Posts:
Middle School Principal Entitled To Workers’ Comp Benefits After Being Shot, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April12, 2012
Fatal Accidents In The Workplace On The Rise, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, January 17, 2012