Those that work outdoors in the elements are at risk for several heat-related injuries, and any one of them could cause serious harm. You are covered for work-related injuries, and if your job involves working around hot environments or outdoors in hot weather you may be at risk for heat stress and the more severe condition known as heat stroke. Read on to learn more about these conditions and how to get the workers' compensation coverage you need and deserve for your injuries.
What to watch out for with heat stress
It's important to be aware of the symptoms below because if ignored they could turn into something far more dangerous:
- Fainting or passing out: Known also as heat syncope, this disorder is caused by blood vessel dilation through heat and physical exertion. Fainting can also be caused by dehydration which is more common when dealing with hot temperatures and increased perspiration.
- Muscle cramps: When you become dehydrated, your salt levels can drop, which can make your muscles seize up and spasm.
- Heat rash: Excessive perspiration can cause an itchy, red rash on the chest, arms, back, and neck areas. In some severe cases, the rash appears as painful blisters.
What to watch out for with heatstroke
Heatstroke can kill or cause permanent damage, so quick action is vital. Take note if you experience any of the following symptoms and call for emergency help.
- Slurred speech
- Extremely heavy perspiration
- High fevers
Take action and be compensated
While it's up to you to take measures to ensure you stay as safe as possible when working on hot days, your employer also bears some responsibility to promote a safe workplace. No matter what level of heat-related distress you experience, you are entitled to workers' comp insurance that covers your medical bills and pays for you to recuperate away from the job.
Seeking help immediately might make the difference between heat stress and the more dangerous heatstroke, so take action. As soon as possible, inform your supervisor of your heat-related injury. A claim form must be filed for you to receive benefits, so follow up to ensure the form contains accurate and complete information about the heat-related injury.
If you have problems with your claim
Unfortunately, some employers take a far too casual approach to both job safety and workers' compensation benefits. Speak to a workers' compensation law attorney if any of the following happen to you after a heat-related incident:
- The employer fails to file a claim for you.
- The employer insists that your injury was not work-related.
- The employer is not cooperating with the workers' comp insurance carrier.
- Your claim has been denied for any reason.
- You are being asked to return to work before you are fully ready.
- You have been left with a permanent or severe injury from a heat-related injury.
See an attorney for help with your claim and ensure that your rights to workers' comp benefits are protected.