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OSHA cautions employers about heat-related illnesses

When employers are negligent in maintaining safe working environments, they face citations if their employees get injured on the job. Workers who suffer a work-related injury are usually entitled to workers' compensation; these benefits help cover the costs of medical expenses and lost wages.

Work-related injuries are not limited to injuries such as broken bones or back injuries. Sometimes injuries also include conditions that develop as a result of working conditions. Just recently, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a new campaign that is targeting heat-related illnesses.

With the summer months nearly here, a number of workers will be spending time outside in the sun and heat. Workers that often spend a lot of time outdoors work jobs that can include landscaping and construction. It is important for employers to understand how to protect their employees from heat illness; failure to do so could lead to serious problems.

Workers who experience heat illness are often lacking in three things: water, rest, and cool shade. Heat illness, also recognized as heat exhaustion, can lead to heat stroke if not treated. Just in the last year alone, at least 30 workers died as a result of heat stroke.

Though exposure to extreme heat can result in serious medical problems, heat stroke is preventable if employers make sure they are taking precautions to ensure worker safety. This can be done by making sure that workers can take breaks and rest and hydrate. Failure to do so could result in cases of heat-related illnesses.

Source: OSHA News Release online, "US Labor Department launches national outreach campaign to protect workers from heat-related illnesses," 26 April 2011

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Eley Law Firm
2000 S. Colorado Blvd. No. 2-740
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