I Suffered from Heatstroke During Working Hours. What Can I Do?
I Suffered from Heatstroke During Working Hours. What Else Can I Do?
Just as the freezing temperatures can be an issue for workers in the frigid New York winters, climbing temps or other external heat sources can have some incredibly dangerous effects as well. During hot summer months, employees on the job can suffer from heat-related illnesses like heat rash, heat cramps, heat stress, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, whether indoors or out. Knowing what to do if these ailments present themselves can make all the difference.
While most people are familiar with worker’s compensation and know that it is available to pay reparation for many types of workplace injuries (like slip and fall accidents), they are unaware that there is also workers’ compensation available if you require medical attention from overheating. Missed work, medical expenses, and pain and suffering can all take a physical, emotional, and financial toll on a working man or woman – knowing your rights can ease the suffering resulting from such an injury.
Understanding the causes and recognizing the symptoms of a heat-related episode is key to avoiding them. Your body temperature may rise for several reasons – higher than normal temperatures, direct sunshine, high humidity, extreme exercise or over-exertion, prolonged exposure to fire or another heat source, and even large, close crowding can contribute to elevated body temperature. Whatever the cause, when your body is unable to adjust to elevated temperatures, overheating is a legitimate concern.
Heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and/or heat exhaustion can cause the organs of the body, including the muscles, nerves, kidneys, liver – even the heart & brain – to short-circuit and medically malfunction. These malfunctions can have long-term effects and, in some cases, lead to death. When the victim realizes something is wrong, the damage has already begun and immediate action is critical to stop further harm.
Signs & symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
- Elevated body temperature
- Extreme tiredness/exhaustion
- Excessive thirst
- Elevated heart rate and/or shallow breathing
- Excessive perspiration, often accompanied by pale, clammy skin
- Cramping in the arms, legs, and/or stomach
- Physical weakness
- Heightened emotional irritability
Extreme heat, most especially when you are not used to it, shocks the body almost immediately. Studies have shown that 80% of heat-related work episodes, injuries, and illnesses occur within the first week on the job. Half of these incidents occur on the first day on the job site. It is, therefore, crucial for employers to prepare employees for the tell-tale signs of symptoms and to mitigate the factors that contribute to them.
Whether indoors or out, occupational conditions to watch out for can include:
- Improper ventilation
- Hot lights or heat-emitting equipment
- Close quarters
- Strenuous, prolonged physical labor
- Extended exposure to direct sunshine
- Inadequate/infrequent hydration
- Inappropriate/inadequate protective clothing or gear
- Working near fire
It is important when working in any of these circumstances, to take regular breaks. Drinking cold water or other appropriate beverages consistently and resting at regular intervals allows the body recovery periods throughout the work shift and significantly allows your body to regulate itself to its surroundings. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, stop what you are doing and seek medical attention. Report your distress to your supervisor or site manager and request immediate help. It is your right to work in an environment that is reasonably safe.
Have you suffered from heatstroke or another heat-related injury during working hours? Seeking immediate medical attention is critical for your health and your case. Document the circumstances that contributed to your injury in great detail. If possible, obtain photos of the worksite. Time is of the essence in heat-related worker’s compensation claims, and timely documentation provided by a doctor or other licensed medical professional will be vital in proving your case.
Each year, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) publishes its statistics for data pertaining to myriad workplace conditions. According to their reports, accidents with injuries affect one in ten construction site workers every year. Employers are responsible for taking all measures to protect workers from serious hazards in the workplace. OSHA has workplace recommendations which include hot weather protocols and precautions when the temperature reaches 91 degrees. If you have been harmed by a heat-related episode while on the job, the team at Daniella Levi & Associates, P.C. will fight for your rights with worker’s compensation and your employer.
Workplace safety is vitally important at any construction site. It directly correlates to efficiency, quality, and productivity. Construction site accidents and injuries can have long-term and sometimes permanent consequences, placing you and your family in financial hardship. We are uniquely qualified at Daniella Levi & Associates, P.C. to assist you with your heat-related injury claim. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured as a result of a heat stroke or heat exhaustion injury on the job, call our experienced injury law team today. We will fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve.
About Daniella Levi & Associates P.C.
After a serious accident, many people are in desperate need of the financial support that comes from a successful result of their personal injury claim. To ensure that you have the best chance at obtaining the compensation you deserve, your lawyer should be just as invested in your case as you are.
At Daniella Levi & Associates, P.C., headquartered in New York City, we believe strongly in upholding the rights of accident victims. We are dedicated advocates for our clients, fighting, and using every available resource, to obtain the compensation they deserve.