Yes. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (or OSHA, the government organization that determines much of what’s covered by workers compensation), heat stroke acquired while on the job has claimed the lives of over thirty US workers every year since 2003. During harsh July temperatures, heat can cause more than just a sunburn – people who spend much of their workday doing manual labor in the sun as well as those who are required to wear heavy uniforms are easily susceptible to more serious health problems as a result of the extreme temperatures.
The July 2012 heat wave means that temperatures during the past two weeks have topped out at upwards of 100 degrees in Maryland – and many are predicting a rise in cases of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, extreme sunburn, and other heat-related conditions to workers comp attorney Rockville representatives. The people most likely to be affected by hot summer conditions are construction workers, farm workers, public works employees, utility repairmen and women, and highway and road construction workers. Police officers and others required to wear dark, heavy uniforms could also be susceptible if temperatures are high enough.
In an effort to prevent serious physical harm and death caused by heat stroke and heat-related medical conditions, OSHA is releasing preventive advice for people whose occupations put them in the sun during the day. Encouraging staff to take heed can significantly reduce the likelihood that your team will need workers compensation benefits.
- Know the warning signs. Be aware of the risk factors and first signs of heat stroke (headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and muscle cramps). Be sure that your staff is made aware of this.
- Encourage breaks. Allow frequent breaks during hot weather, and set aside space in a cool area for employees to rest.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you are not immediately thirsty.
For more information on workers compensation in Rockville, MD, visit Kennedy & Dolan online.