What Are Heat Stress Injuries?
January 9, 2016
Workers at risk of heat stress
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress.” The people most at risk include:
- Workers over the age of 65
- Workers with heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes
- Miners or drillers
- Factory workers
- Boiler room workers
- Cooks, chefs and bakers
- Construction workers
Professionals like these all work in high temperatures both indoors and outdoors. Your chances of heat stress may increase if you take medications that react to heat as well.
The consequences of heat stress
Conditions like heat stroke and heat exhaustion can cause permanent disability if not treated: heat stroke can raise your temperature to dangerously highly levels, and heat exhaustion can cause you to faint or blackout while doing your job. You may also become dehydrated, which can cause your brain to swell or lead to seizures if left untreated.
Workers with heat stress may also experience muscle cramping or dizziness. These symptoms will usually go away once you have rested and re-hydrated. If, however, you develop heat rash and you leave it untreated, you can increase your risk of developing an infection in your skin, which could travel through your blood stream and become more serious.
Workers exposed to high temperatures are also at risk of injuries caused by:
- Hot surfaces. Touching a hot surface can cause serious burns and potentially permanent scarring or loss of feeling in whatever body part touched the hot surface.
- Sweaty palms. If you work with heavy machinery or objects, your sweaty palms could cause you to drop something on yourself or on a colleague.
- Fogged eyewear. If your safety goggles are not clear and your visibility is poor, you could potentially hurt yourself or others while working.
If you have suffered heat stress while working and have developed an illness or sustained an injury because of it, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Larry Pitt & Associates has helped thousands of people in and around Philadelphia recover workers’ compensation benefits when they were injured on the job. Please call 888.PITT.LAW or fill out our contact form to reserve a no-cost consultation at one of our multiple offices serving workers throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.