Extreme heat across California can take a toll on those individuals who work outdoors or with no air conditioning. Above-average temperatures for an area can easily lead to health problems like heat stroke, which workers’ compensation benefits cover. Here is a rundown of why exceptionally high temps are a threat to some of the state’s workers and how to combat them.
Heat’s effect on workers
Outdoor workers in California may experience heat stress when exposed to hot temperatures. This may lead to heat rashes, cramps, exhaustion and even strokes. Heat might also slow down workers’ reaction times, making their palms sweaty, fog up their safety glasses and make them dizzy. All of this may contribute to work-related injuries. High temperatures might exacerbate a worker’s pre-existing medical condition, such as heart disease or asthma, as well.
Workers with the highest risk of experiencing heat stress range from those in construction to workers in grounds maintenance, sanitation, farming, transportation, warehousing, restaurants, boiler rooms and security. Federal law requires employers to encourage hydration and provide sufficient quantities of water to employees working in these environments. Reporting all heat-related injuries or illnesses to one’s employer may motivate the company to take extra steps to protect workers, like requiring shade breaks every hour.
How an attorney can help address work-related illnesses
Individuals who fall ill on the job due to their work environments would be wise to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney immediately. An attorney in California may help an ill or injured worker file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits covering related medical costs, as well as appeal the claim if the employer denies it. The attorney will strive to ensure the worker receives the full amount of benefits to which he or she is entitled.