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Tillman & Associates, Attorneys at Law

Does your job require you to work outside in the summer?

Summers in Georgia can be brutal. In the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, for example, many Olympic athletes constantly drank water, and the Australian team used vests stuffed with ice to help protect athletes who had overheated.

While these Olympics ended quite a few years ago, the heat issues endure and affect workers in the state every day. If you work outside, here are a few ways to protect yourself against conditions such as heat stroke.

Take all the breaks you can

It is very likely that your employer has a program to guard against heat-related illnesses. This program probably includes breaks and the opportunity to drink water. Take advantage of these times. Your health is at stake.

Be aware of heat-related illness signs and symptoms

Chances are that you underwent training with your employer to safeguard against you getting sick outside in the summer. You may even have to repeat this training every summer. Just in case, though, here is a quick look at what signs and symptoms to be aware of for heat stroke.

You will likely experience at least some of the following: confusion, dizziness, muscle cramping or weakness, nausea and a strange absence of sweating given that it is extremely hot. The correct response for suspected heat stroke is to call 911 and administer first aid, so do this for your coworkers if necessary. Otherwise, they could suffer internal organ damage, brain injury or even death. No one should skimp on any part of the medical treatment process.

There are also a few risk factors to be aware of; for example, if you do not drink much water, are chronically ill and/or drink a lot of alcohol. People 50 and older are also more at risk. If you do get injured from a heat-related illness on the job, workers' compensation can help in several ways. This is true even if you may have had a pre-existing condition such as obesity that made you more prone to heat illnesses.

Being hurt on the job can be scary. A lawyer can help explore your options if you become ill or injured at work.

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