The summer months are here. While we often associate this time of year with family cookouts and Little League games, workers’ compensation attorneys in Winston-Salem know that summer heat means heat-related illness.
According to the United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA),thousands of employees suffer from heat-related illness each and every year. Many of these workers die from heat exposure. Under the laws governing worker’s compensation cases, it is an employer’s responsibility to keep workers safe.
While it should come as no surprise that performing labor-intensive tasks in hot temperatures can cause your core body temperature to rise, many employers tend to overlook the added dangers to temporary workers. During the summer, many of people will seek temporary employment. These temporary or seasonal jobs often involve working outside in the hot sun for many hours a week with little time off. Spending all day in the heat is often vastly different from the employee’s daily life during the other months of the year.
Let’s take a college kid who gets a job working at an amusement park. Most of the year, he spends his time in class and is rarely out in the sun. During the summer, he may spend more than 10 hours a day working in extreme heat. His body is not used to being in the heat all day. OSHA researchers refer to this as a lack of “acclimatization.”
It is unfortunate that many employers don’t take simple precautions to prevent heat-related illness to workers they know are at a high risk for becoming sick or even dying. What’s even more unfortunate is that OSHA issued only 11 citations to employers or staffing agencies in 2013. For that reason, many injured employees turn to law firms who handle workers’ compensation cases to seek fair compensation.
If you have been injured at work in Winston-Salem, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.
Annual summer campaign to prevent heat-related illnesses, May 22, 2014, OSHA News Release
More Blog Entries:
Staffing Agency Responsibilities for Temporary Workers , North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, May 15, 2014