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Tillman & Associates, Attorneys at Law

What are some of the heat hazards to workers?

There are many jobs where employees are exposed to heat. For example, there are jobs which have high humidity and high air temperatures. However, there are many jobs that include strenuous activities or direct contact with hot objects. When it comes to heat exposure, thousands of workers will become ill because of the heat.

If someone works in a hot environment, his or her body has to sweat and circulate blood to the skin in order to keep a stable temperature internally. If the air is hotter than a person's normal body temperature, then sweating is the primary way a body can cool off. If the body has to store the heat, then the worker will have a higher risk of a heat-related illness. Some workers have built up quite a tolerance to heat. Others are new or have already experienced heat exposure. It's imperative that employers do their best to prevent heat-related illnesses. Some of the ways to do so include using air conditioning, slowly build up employees' tolerance towards heat and keeping a heat emergency plan handy. Know the signs of a heat-related illness, too.

When an employee suffers a heat-related illness, that employee needs medical care. If workers' compensation does not approve the employee's claim, then he or she has a right to appeal it. This is when a lawyer experienced in workers' compensation becomes very helpful.

As an injured or ill employee, you have a right to receive medical care and to keep receiving medical care until you are no longer injured or ill anymore.

Source: Occupational Safety & Health Administration, "Occupational Heat Exposure," accessed March 25, 2016

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