As a workers compensation lawyer Memphis TN trusts, I know employers have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for their employees. If you are injured on the job, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation, a type of insurance provided by employers that covers your lost wages, medical expenses, and other costs.
Work injuries aren’t limited to slip and falls and broken bones. Heat exhaustion counts as a work-related illness if it occurs while you’re performing your responsibilities on the clock. Given that we’re in the hottest weeks of the year, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of the most common heat-related illnesses.
The most serious form of heat injury, heat stroke occurs when your body temperature rises to 103 Fahrenheit or higher. Heat stroke requires emergency treatment, without which it can damage the brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles. It can lead to serious complications or death.
- High body temperature (103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher)
- Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
- Fast, strong pulse
- Passing out
A result of your body overheating, heat exhaustion can cause heavy sweating, rapid pulse, dizziness, and low blood pressure when you stand up. Without prompt treatment, it can lead to heat stroke.
- Heavy sweating
- Cold, pale, and clammy skin
- Fast, weak pulse
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle cramps
- Fatigue or weakness
- Passing out
Heat cramps are painful cramps when muscles spasm or jerk involuntarily. They can happen while you’re out in the heat, but they may also occur several hours later. The muscles you use during heavy work, like calves, thighs, and shoulders, are the most vulnerable. Often, an electrolyte-related imbalance is the cause.
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle pains or spasms
The Responsibility of Employers
Employers have a responsibility to look after employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) suggests the following precautions, which can be taken whenever temperatures are high and a job demands physical labor.
- Establish a complete heat illness prevention program.
- Provide training about the hazards leading to heat stress and how to prevent them.
- Provide a lot of cool water to workers close to the work area. At least one pint of water per hour is needed.
- Modify work schedules and arrange frequent rest periods with water breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas.
- Gradually increase workloads and allow more frequent breaks for workers new to the heat or those that have been away from work to adapt to working in the heat (acclimatization).
- Designate a responsible person to monitor conditions and protect workers who are at risk of heat stress.
- Consider protective clothing that provides cooling.
Speak to a Workers Compensation Lawyer Memphis TN Trusts
If you or a loved one has been injured at work, through a heat-related injury or any other kind, an experienced workers compensation lawyer in Memphis TN is here for you. We can help you recover from your injuries, make up for lost wages, and keep your job. We are committed to helping you get what you need to move forward with your life.