The summer brings high temperatures to South Carolina, and some workers find themselves dealing with the heat during their shift. Heat exhaustion reflects a problem much more severe than being uncomfortable: People die from heat exhaustion, so it becomes imperative for workers to be mindful of feeling heat stress.
Heat brings dangers to workers
Heat exhaustion happens when the body becomes exposed to dangerously high temperatures. After overheating, someone may experience numerous uncomfortable symptoms. Heat cramps are common, and heatstroke remains a possible outcome.
Someone working indoors or outdoors in the heat might start to sweat excessively and feel extreme thirst. Employees may have a strong work ethic and choose to push through such harsh conditions. Sometimes, the employer frowns on workers taking breaks. Regardless, ignoring the signs of heat exhaustion could lead to disastrous results.
Passing out on the job may happen, which might lead to another injury. Even if someone would normally be okay after passing out, the impact from the fall could cause broken bones or worse.
It’s important not to downplay the dangers of heat stress. More than 800 workers died from heat-related problems between 1992 and 2017, and upwards of 70,000 suffered adverse reactions.
Attempts to address heat-related dangers
Reportedly, the lack of federal regulations contributes to the dangers that workers face from extreme heat. Proposed legislation promotes mandatory breaks for cooling off and access to water. Unfortunately, some employers do not put their worker’s health at the forefront without any laws in place.
Employees who are unable to work due to heat-related illnesses or injuries could file a workers’ comp claim. The claim may cover some financial losses until the employee is able to return to work.
An attorney may assist a worker in filing a workers’ compensation claim to ensure that all paperwork is completed correctly. The attorney may advise on a potential third-party lawsuit as well if negligence played a role in the injury or illness.