Workers’ Compensation Claims For Heat-Related Injuries
Summer is officially upon us in South Carolina. For many people, that means cook-outs, vacations, and day trips to the beach. Unfortunately, it is means more treacherous conditions on the job for many workers and an increased risk of heat-related injuries. These are a common cause of workers’ compensation claims in Aiken during the months of June, July, and August. Find out more about some of the most common dangers and what you can do to protect yourself.
Common Types of Heat-Related Injuries In The Summer Months
On-the-job accidents and injuries can happen in any occupation but there are certain types of workers who are most at-risk in the summer months. Anyone working outdoors or in already hot areas is at risk for a variety of heat-related injuries and illnesses. According to Occupational Health and Safety Online, the most common include:
● Heat exhaustion: This can happen indoors or out, causing dangerous elevations in body temperature. Headaches, nausea, vomiting, and fainting are common symptoms.
● Heatstroke: This can happen due to sun or heat exposure and dehydration. Heatstroke can prove deadly and may result in permanent disabilities.
● Severe sunburn: Getting a sunburn is no minor manner. In severe cases, it can cause scarring and disfigurement while impacting body organs. It also increases your risk for skin cancer.
● Other burns: In addition to sunburn, asphalt, metal, or other hard surfaces and liquids can easily get scalding hot in the summer months, increasing the risk for third-degree burns.
Construction workers, farmhands, road crews, service industry workers, bakers, and other employees exposed to the outdoors or high temps inside should be particularly cautious when it comes to heat-related injuries. Make sure you have easy access to plenty of water, take frequent breaks in the shade or indoors in air conditioning, use sunscreen, and stop if you feel ill or experience any light-headedness, intense sweating, heart palpitations, or other symptoms.
What To Do When Heat-Related Injuries Happen
Dizziness, disorientation, difficulty focusing, and generally feeling ill are all common symptoms of heat-related illnesses. If you suffer any of these symptoms or get a severe burn, report it to your supervisor immediately and seek medical attention.
Heat-related injuries and illnesses can have long-term impacts on your health and your ability to work, potentially preventing you from being able to work outdoors or in high temperatures in the future. Fortunately, you may be entitled to benefits through the South Carolina workers’ compensation program. These include:
● Reimbursement for lost wages;
● Coverage of medical expenses;
● Compensation for temporary or permanent disabilities;
● Access to job retraining programs.
To ensure you get the benefits you are entitled to, make sure your employer files a claim on your behalf, visit your doctor regularly and follow all treatment instructions, and do not return to work until cleared to do so.
Contact an Attorney for Help
When on-the-job injuries or illnesses happen, the Surasky Law Firm helps you get the benefits you deserve. For trusted legal guidance in filing a claim, reach out and contact our Aiken workers’ compensation attorney to request a consultation today.