We are in the heat of summer in Georgia, with mid-day temperatures sometimes soaring into the 90s and beyond. Even though temperatures are high, some Georgia workers still must work outside for long periods. According to a recent OSHA fact sheet, it is important for Georgia workers to remember the dangers of over-extending themselves in the heat.
Also, remember that your employer has an obligation to ensure its workers are safe in the sweltering summer heat. The burden is on them to be on alert for heat-related illnesses in employees.
If you suffer a heat-related illness at work, you have legal rights. The Mann Law Firm can help you to make a workers’ compensation claim so you are eligible for benefits. Contact our Macon, Georgia, law office for more information.
What Is a Heat Illness?
According to OSHA, the following are illnesses that can be caused by overexposure to heat in the workplace:
- Heat stroke: This is the most serious health problem related to heat. It occurs when your body temperature control system fails, and the temperature rises to more than 104 F. Symptoms include loss of consciousness, confusion and seizures. This is a dire medical emergency and could result in death. Dial 911 immediately.
- Heat exhaustion: This is the next most severe type of heat-related health problem. Common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion are nausea, headache, weakness, thirst, heavy sweating and a temperature above 104 F.
- Heat cramps: Muscle pains that are related to rapid loss of body salts and fluids as you sweat. If you have heat cramps, you should drink plenty of water or a carb/electrolyte replacement drink every 20 minutes or so when you are exposed to excessive heat.
- Heat rash: Caused by excessive sweating in high temperatures; it may look like a small, red cluster of small blisters and pimples. The best treatment is to work in a cooler, less humid work area.
How to Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses
Your Georgia employer has a responsibility to have programs and safeguards in place to ensure that workers will not suffer heat-related injuries at work. Some of the programs that OSHA recommends include:
- Designate worker to oversee heat stress program.
- Hazard identification: Recognize heat dangers on the job with visible temperature gauges and the OSHA Heat Smartphone app.
- Water, rest, shade: It is the burden of the employer to ensure that enough cold drinking water is available and accessible. Workers should be drinking a liter of water every in the heat, or about one cup of water every 15 minutes.
- Training: All workers exposed to excessive heat should be trained about the health dangers of excessive temperatures and how and when to act when symptoms appear.
Did You Get Hurt at Work? Speak to an Attorney Today
No matter if you are hurt at work due to the heat, a fall, or other reason, you may have a workers’ compensation case against your employer. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost earnings and pain and suffering. Please contact the Mann Law Firm for a free consultation today.