TIPS FOR WORKING OUTDOORS TO AVOID A WORK INJURY
As the temperatures rise, workplace safety is essential for outdoor workers! Working in excessive heat without proper breaks or protections can lead to a work injury, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. These work injuries occur when your body has no way to cool down from high temperature exposure. As your body heat increases, so does your heart rate, which can lead to heat stress, heat stroke, or other personal injuries.
Many employers are unaware that heat related illnesses on the job are common. In a 10 year study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there were a total of 28,000 heat-related hospitalizations in the 20 states surveyed. While most employers constantly establish safety protocols to avoid work injuries, a large number of employers do not consider your best interests. The legal team at Spear Greenfield understands the devastation caused by a personal injury accident, and we want you safe from injuries at work. Below is a list of safety tips to follow when working outdoors in extreme heat.
Ensure you have access to cool drinking water with a rate greater than a quart per hour. Your employer should encourage you to drink ample water during outdoor work. Since dehydration is a common work injury, your employer should also provide more than enough water.
Sports beverages and snacks offer your body carbohydrates and electrolytes, which are important to protect you against personal injury caused by heat. Ensure the sports beverages have ingredients necessary to hydrate. The food you bring should be smaller meals that exclude hard to digest foods.
Constant exposure to the sun is a main cause of heat related work injuries. Shade is essential for decreasing sun exposure, so ensure there’s an area of shade close to your work site. If not, speak with your employer about providing an overhang or canopy for your work site.
FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULE
Adjust your work schedule both by hour and by day. Plan to do the most physically demanding work on days with cooler temperatures forecasted. Also aim to work during the less hot or humid hours of the day such as early morning or evening.
When working in the heat, take ample breaks, especially during the hours that deliver extreme temperatures. Employers looking to cut down on work injuries should encourage these frequent breaks. If not, file a formal suggestion to your supervisor to ensure regular breaks.
Wear lightweight, loose fitting, and light colored clothing, which will help keep your body cooler during excessive heat exposure.
PERSONAL INJURY INCIDENTS OCCUR ON THE JOB
Personal injury incidents do occur on the job, especially during extreme heat. Look for warning signs of the heat’s damaging effect to your body, including loss of concentration, difficulty focusing, nausea, and fainting. Employers are required to provide their workers with a safe workplace according to OSHA law. If a work injury does occur, report the injury to your supervisor and speak with a personal injury attorney to ensure your best interests are represented.
Rand Spear and the Spear Greenfield legal team care about your safety and well being. If you recently experienced a work injury, call our offices to receive guidance and a free review of your personal injury incident. Following this review, the Spear Greenfield team can better inform you regarding your legal options. Make sure your best interests are always represented!