Each year, thousands of outdoor workers sustain serious heat illnesses, and, in the worst cases, these heat illnesses end up being fatal (according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA). While this fact may be disturbing and cause for worry in and of itself, what may be possible as distressing is the fact that heat illnesses are entirely preventable.
Given this, it’s critical that both outdoor workers and their employers are aware of:
- The specific risks of heat illnesses during the summertime
- The steps they can and should be taking to prevent heat illnesses.
In this three-part blog, we will discuss what heat illnesses are and what outdoor workers and their employers can do to minimize the risk of these types of work injuries. If, however, any worker sustains a heat illness while working, they are encouraged to contact Colorado Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Michael P. Dominick.
Heat Illnesses Defined
Before we can delve into our tips for preventing heat illnesses, we first need to explain what these are. Specifically, heat illnesses for which outdoor workers may be at risk during the summertime include:
- Heat cramps – This is the mildest type of heat illness, and it is typically marked by painful muscle spasms in the extremities. Symptoms of heat cramps may also include excessive sweating, weakness, feelings of faintness and lightheadedness.
- Heat exhaustion – When oppressive heat is coupled with physical stress, a person may develop heat exhaustion, which is a moderate to severe heat illness. Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include excessive sweating, nausea, vomiting, headaches and intense feelings of lightheadedness.
- Heat stroke – This is the most severe type of heat illness, as it occurs when the body’s major systems begin shutting down because the body can’t properly or sufficiently cool itself off. Symptoms of heat stroke can include (but aren’t limited to) temperatures of 102° or higher, confusion, breathing problems, skin that is hot to the touch, seizures and/or loss of consciousness.
If you or your coworker starts developing any of the symptoms of heat illnesses that have been described above, make sure to take immediate action – including possibly even calling 911 – to prevent severe health complications.
For heat illness prevention tips to stay safe while working outdoors this summer, be sure to stay posted for the upcoming second and third parts of this blog.
Colorado Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Office of Michael P. Dominick
If you have sustained a workplace injury and are considering (or in the process of) filing a workers’ compensation claim, you cannot rely upon your employer or insurance companies to look out for your best interests. Instead, it’s essential that you contact the Colorado workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Office of Michael P. Dominick.
Our legal professionals are experienced at going up against corporate lawyers and insurance companies, and we have a proven track record of success when it comes to securing our Clients the maximum possible compensation for their injuries and financial losses.
Contact Us Today
For a thorough evaluation of your case, along with expert advice on the best manner in which to move forward, call us at (303) 447-2644.