Protecting California Workers from Heat IllnessBy Kenton Koszdin Law Office on June 10, 2013 | In Workers Compensation
During the summer months, heat-related illnesses and injuries on the job increase in California, especially among construction and agricultural workers who labor outdoors in the hot sun. Excessive heat exposure can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke, both of which can cause serious injuries or even death.
Heat-related illnesses occur when the body’s temperature rises too high for the body to handle. Normally, the body cools itself by sweating. When a person’s water reserves are low or the heat is too intense, however, the body may not be able to cope, leading to the risk of injury or illness.
Early signs of heat-related illness include a heat rash or cramps. Dizziness, excessive sweating, or no sweating may also occur. Weakness or fainting can also occur. All of these symptoms indicate serious harm and should be treated immediately.
Although California workers’ compensation law protects employees who are injured by heat while on the job, the best protection is prevention. Workers should be encouraged to take frequent short rest breaks in a shady spot and to drink water. If a heat-related injury or illness causes a worker to lose time from work, he or she may seek workers’ compensation to cover medical bills and some lost wages. You can start the workers’ compensation process by filing Form DWC-1 with your employer. Your employer should have this form, or you can download it from the Department of Workers’ Compensation website.
At the Kenton Koszdin Law Office, our dedicated southern California workers’ compensation attorneys can help you fight for the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve after an on-the-job injury or illness. Contact us today at (800) 438-7734 to learn more.