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Preventing workplace injuries related to heat exposure

As temperature rise in California, it is more important than ever for employers and managers to help workers avoid illnesses related to heat exposure. This week, temperatures are expected to soar in many areas of the state. While this is normal for summer, it means that people who are employed in jobs that require them to be outdoors are exposed to a higher risk of workplace injuries and illnesses.

Some of the most common illnesses associated with heat exposure include heat stroke, nausea, blurred vision, headaches and more. Some of these symptoms may subside with time, but others can be serious enough to require hospitalization. California employers are required to provide equipment and safety training to avoid these symptoms and heat-related illnesses.

Employers are supposed to provide workers break times when temperatures rise. Workers should also be provided with shaded areas to rest, free and cool drinking water and any equipment needed to do their jobs safely in the sun. Employers are also required to have written procedures for the purpose of heat safety and injury prevention.

Heat-related workplace injuries and illnesses can compromise a worker's ability to do his or her job safely. Dehydration or heat stroke can require emergency medical treatment, which can be costly, both emotionally and financially. Workers who have been negatively affected by high temperatures in the summer months have the right to a full and fair recovery, and a workers' compensation lawyer can ensure that these rights are protected. A legal ally can help a worker file a claim for benefits as well as provide any legal counsel needed.

Source: eleditor.com, "Cal Osha Issues Statewide High Heat Advisory As Temperatures Soar", June 1, 2016

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