Do you have a job where you work outside some or all of the time? With the days beginning to grow warmer and warmer, you need to start thinking about not just getting your job done, but getting it done safely in extreme heat. Since Harrisburg is not the type of climate that is warm all year-round, we haven't built up a tolerance to this type of heat like workers in states like California and Texas may have. Because of this, it is very important to take your health seriously.
Heat doesn't just cause you to sweat and make you thirsty—it can make you extremely sick as well. Sweating is the way our bodies try to cool down, but when there are high temperatures and humidity, just sweating isn't enough to protect us. Workers exposed to extreme heat are at risk of heat stress, which can result in injuries and illnesses like:
- Heat stroke
- Heat exhaustion
- Heat cramps
- Heat rashes
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also notes that heat can increase the risk of injuries in workers because it can cause sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness.
So, how can you prevent suffering a heat-related illness on the job? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides a few important tips:
- Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
- Cool down in the shade and rest.
- Wear light-colored clothing (less likely to absorb heat) and a hat.
- Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
- Keep an eye on your fellow workers who may not be aware of how dangerous the heat can be.
One long, excruciatingly hot day outside this summer has the potential to make you sick and force you to file a workers' compensation claim. Don't risk heat illness and keep yourself safe!
If you were injured at work due to a heat-related illness, or another type of accident, request a free copy of our book Who Pays Your Medical Bills When You Are Injured at Work?