Avoiding work injury related to heat exposure

As summer begins, it is important to note how the higher temperatures could affect the health and safety of all outdoor workers. It is of utmost importance for employers to take necessary steps to protect the well-being of their workers and avoid any work injury or illness related to heat or sun exposure. With the right understanding and training, these types of injuries can be avoided. 

In some cases, the heat can also affect Oklahoma workers who are not outside. When the temperatures increase, warehouse workers and others can experience the effects of heat. The most common factors that contribute to heat-related illnesses are physical exertion and dehydration. The heat, humidity and direct sunlight, either alone or in combination, can result in serious and aggravating consequences for people.

Oklahoma employers must provide allowances for workers who are required to be outside. They must provide shade, break times to rest and cool water for no charge. If any person displays signs that he or she is experiencing heat stroke or dehydration, appropriate measures must be taken. Ill or injured workers have the right to medical care and, in some cases, could be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. 

When a person has experienced a work injury or becomes ill due to his or her work environment, that individual has certain legal rights. While a workers' compensation claim may be appropriate, these benefits can sometimes be difficult to claim. An experienced lawyer can evaluate the case and work to protect the workers' rights and the interests of his or her family. 

Source: ohsonline.com, "Understanding the Ramifications of Heat in Work Environments", Iris Floyd, June 1, 2016

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