Avoiding heat-related work illnesses and death

Employers in North Carolina should understand when there are potential risks and dangers in the work environment. This is especially true for jobs that are more inherently dangerous. The construction industry has various potential risks and dangers, but if employers address these issues, work accidents and injuries could be reduced. By providing adequate training and safety equipment, the lives of the workers could be protected. Failure to do so could result in a fatal work accident.

During the summer months, workers in North Carolina often struggle to work in the heat. On a hot day, construction workers may not understand how to acclimate to the temperatures or how to react if they experience certain symptoms. If workers are at risk of heat-related injuries and their employer fails to take action such as providing adequate training and cooling options, a worker could suffer a work-related death.

After a recent report about heat related work injuries and deaths, OSHA offered a plan that could help workers acclimate to the heat and avoid injuries. A worker should gradually increase their exposure to the heat. It usually takes seven to 14 days to acclimate to a hot environment. They should provide a cool or shaded area for breaks and workers should be able to take unscheduled breaks if they start to overheat or develop symptoms of heat exposure.

A heat-related death or illness could serious impact the life of the worker and their loved ones. In the event of the worker’s death, their family could file for workers’ compensation. Collecting death benefits could help them cover expenses associated with the fatal work accident such as medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages and other related damages.

Increasing workplace safety is crucial in the prevention of serious or fatal work accidents. Investigation should follow a work accident, injury or death in order to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. Those affected by a work-related accident should understand what options they have in order to recover compensation for their losses and damages.

Source: Science Blogs, “Dying from heat at work, acclimation lacking,” Celeste Monforton, Aug. 13, 2014