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Hot weather presents dangers to workers

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2022 | workers' compensation

While most days in California experience mild weather, there are times when the temperature spikes well into the 90s and above. Not everyone can stay home and turn on an air conditioner. Workers might find themselves dealing with hot environments and associated safety risks. Employers may need to take extra steps to protect workers during brutally hot weather. Some actions might be minor, but they could save workers from avoidable harm.

Working outdoors in hot weather conditions

People sweat when exposed to hot weather and environments. Sweating helps the body cool down, but there are physical limits. When someone cannot cool down sufficiently, they could suffer from a heat stroke. Also, excess sweating may result in dehydration, which could become life-threatening.

Employers who provide workers with a decent supply of water could help the workers avoid dehydration. Access to shade and even bringing portable fans to work sites might have a positive effect, too.

A worker’s physical activities could contribute to heat-related dangers. A construction worker performing manual labor might need additional rest breaks to adjust to the hot weather.

Employer actions and heat-related worries

Workers who become sick due to heat exposure may need to take time off to recover. A workers’ compensation claim might provide financial support during this time, but employees likely would rather not get sick in the first place. Not all workers know how to prevent heat-related illnesses, though.

Management could provide training that focuses on heat exhaustion and other dangers. Employees might not take breaks when they don’t realize how dangerous working in hot weather is. A training course may instill helpful knowledge about injury avoidance or what to do when starting to feel ill. Such preventive measures could save a life.

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