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Workers beware of heat-related illnesses and injuries this summer

In our last post, we discussed the dangers that people can face when they are at swimming pools or lakes in the summertime. However, the heat of summer can also present a number of hazards to people who are not lucky enough to cool off in the water. Specifically, this includes people who work outside.

Being outside in the summer can be the cause of several serious conditions. People who are outside in the humidity, sun and heat for extended periods of time can be at risk of getting sick or injured, and it can be important to remember that workers affected by these working conditions may be able to pursue workers' compensation benefits. 

Generally speaking, there are three common factors that can lead to a work-related injury in the summer: heat, extreme weather and sun.

  • Heat: During the very hot months, people who work outside can suffer from dehydration, heat cramps, rashes, confusion and nausea. Once these symptoms begin, a person can require immediate assistance and time off to recover.
  • Extreme Weather: Working outdoors while it is raining or severe weather is on the way can be very dangerous. Not only can the rain make surfaces slippery, increasing the chances of a slip-and-fall accident, but storms can also put people at risk of getting injured by objects that have been uprooted by heavy winds or injured by lightning.
  • Sun: Working in the sun can make workers very hot, increasing their chances of suffering a heat-related condition. However, it can also cause people to develop serious sunburns if they are not properly protected. In severe cases, burns can be so bad that a worker needs to be admitted to the hospital.

Keeping these common summertime hazards in mind can be crucial for people who work outside. Those who have suffered an illness or injury mentioned in this post may want to thoroughly explore their options for workers' compensation to help them cover the costs of medical treatment and lost wages.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Heat Stress," April 11, 2014

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