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Avoiding a heat-related on-the-job injury

In California, temperatures have been soaring into the 90s and, in some places, have topped 100 degrees. It is critical at this time of year for employers to implement and enforce strict heat-related safety protocols. These steps could save the lives of workers who have outdoor jobs, as well as prevent an unnecessary on\-the\-job injury.

Many workers in the state are taking measures to prevent injuries and illnesses related to overheating. Drinking plenty of water, taking breaks and seeking shade when possible is important. As the weather forecasts continue to point toward more heat and high temperatures, employers are required to put the safety of their workers first.

Certain safety measures are required by California state law. Employers and supervisors must train workers on how to work safely in the heat and prevent heat-related illnesses. They must also provide fresh, cool water free of charge and provide access to shade. Employees cannot be reprimanded or face any punishment for resting when they begin to feel ill in the heat. If a worker does become ill, he or she has the right to medical treatment and a full recovery.

As all signs point to a scorching summer in California, it is more important than ever for workers to know their rights regarding heat safety. They should also be clear on their entitlement to workers' compensation in the event of an on-the-job injury. When unfortunate events do occur, it can be useful to seek the help of a lawyer who is knowledgeable in employee rights and state law. 

Source:, "WEATHER: At work, outdoors, in 114-degree heat, it's safety first", Brian Rokos, June 22, 2016

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