Hot Workplaces: Heat and Work Injuries in Florida

Florida is a dream vacation destination because of its weather. Imagine living and working in such a warm and sunny environment for the rest of your life. This can be a dream come true, but temperatures in the summer can easily reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit. While working from the beach may be a fantasy for many, it’s possible in Florida. However, it’s challenging to work outdoors, and things can get downright dangerous pretty fast. When people think of work-related injuries, nobody ever thinks of heat. Unfortunately, heat is a serious concern when it comes to workplace safety. After all, the State of Florida is ranked as the most humid in all the US states. The high temperatures coupled with high humidity creates the perfect recipe for heat-related injuries and illnesses.

If you develop an illness or injuries at the workplace due to prolonged exposure to heat, be sure to get in touch with our team at Sternberg Forsythe, P.A. for help. The team will help you recover the compensation you deserve. Read on to get more information about the dangers of heat at the workplace and discover your rights as a protected worker.

Heat Safety Hazards for Workers

While it’s true that many heat-related illnesses are usually reported during recreational activities, many similar cases are reported at the workplace.

The following are workers who are at risk of heat injuries in Florida:

– Factory workers

– Firefighters

– Warehouse workers

– Construction workers

– Agricultural workers

Basically, anyone who works in the outdoors as well as those who work in buildings with poor ventilation can develop heat injuries or illnesses. Unfortunately, it is difficult to regulate industries on issues touching on heat exposure. However, OSHA has created a guide for employers.

OSHA Recommendations

OSHA has created the “Water, Rest, Shade” guide for employers to try and help reduce heat-related issues.

The main goal of the campaign is to protect workers from dangerous levels of heat. OSHA, through the guide, has recommended the use of the Heat Index, developed by NOAA, by employers. This helps them to determine when it’s too hot to work safely.

Types of Heat Injuries and Illnesses

If you work in Florida, it’s good you know the illnesses and injuries you may sustain if you are exposed to heat for too long. They include:

Heat Cramps

These are excruciating cramps or muscle spasms that are experienced after intense exercise or when you sweat in hot work conditions.

Heat Exhaustion

This occurs when you lose plenty of water and salt in extremely hot conditions. When working in hot conditions, you may sweat excessively and lose a lot of water, which your body may not be able to replenish fast enough.

The following are common symptoms of heat exhaustion:

– Fever of 100.4 degrees or higher

– Nausea

– Anxiety

– Weakness

– Headache

– Fatigue

– Diarrhea

– Weakness

Other Symptoms may also manifest

Heat Stroke

This is the most serious heat-related injury or illness you can develop. You can get a heat stroke if your body is unable to regulate heat. Lack of prompt treatment can lead to a life-threatening condition.

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

– Agitation

– Lethargy

– Nausea and vomiting

– Headache

– Dry skin

– Fever of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher

– Rapid heart rate

– Fatigue

In the most severe cases, you may have seizures or go into a coma. Death is also a real possibility in the most severe cases.

Do You Have a Workers’ Compensation Case?

Under normal circumstances, workers compensation insurance should offer compensation for all work-related injuries and illnesses that occurred at the workplace. Employers are required to ensure their places of work are safe for their workers.

Unfortunately, some employers may claim that the injured worker had a pre-existing condition, and it may be challenging for the worker to prove otherwise. Obesity and heart defect may be cited by employers as the pre-existing conditions.

If your workers’ compensation claim is denied for any reason, it is only logical for you to seek professional assistance.

Can You File an Injury Case for Heat Injuries and Illnesses?

The answer is – sometimes. If someone other than your employer is to blame for the heat-related injuries or illnesses, you can sue them in court for the injuries. At Sternberg Forsythe P.A., we are always prepared to handle complex workers compensation cases and personal injury lawsuits on behalf of our clients.┬á