Most people look forward to summer, whether it is because they have a vacation planned or enjoy the summer activities. However, the summer season can bring overwhelmingly hot weather to Georgia.
Individuals might get used to this kind of weather, but it can be a significant risk for many workers.
How big of a problem is heat stress for workers?
Heat stress is a bigger problem than many workers realize. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), thousands of workers suffer serious or even fatal illnesses from heat exposure each year.
And it is not only a risk for outdoor workers, such as landscapers or construction workers. It can also be a risk for workers in warehouses with little airflow. Wearing heavy personal protective equipment (PPE) can also lead workers to overheat in either outdoor or indoor workplaces.
Any environment that exposes workers to extreme heat could put them at risk of suffering a heat stress injury or illness, such as:
- Muscle cramps; and
- Even burns from hot surfaces or machinery.
Additionally, heat stress can also increase the chances of workers suffering other occupational injuries. Overheating can lead them to feel dizzy or fatigued, which can cause them to slip and fall, overexert themselves or worse.
It is possible for Georgia workers to collect workers’ compensation if they can connect a heat stress illness or injury to their work. In these cases, it is helpful to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, so workers can ensure they obtain the compensation they need while they recover.
However, as important as it is for workers to know this, they must also make sure they take measures to stay safe while on the job.
Workers must take proper precautions
Being aware of the risk of heat stress is critical, but workers must also ensure that they:
- Take regular breaks to rest and cool off;
- Stay hydrated throughout the day; and
- Speak with their supervisors about plans to prevent heat stress.
This is a serious hazard, especially during the summer, and workers must put their safety first to avoid injury.