When the heat hurts: Preventing heat exhaustion at work

  • By On behalf of Channing Dutton of Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P.
  • 18 May, 2016
While most Iowans head for the AC when the heat is on, construction workers must labor outside in conditions that can hit a whopping 110 degrees. Just look at the heat index from last summer. Things are looking just as...
While most Iowans head for the AC when the heat is on, construction workers must labor outside in conditions that can hit a whopping 110 degrees. Just look at the heat index from last summer.
Things are looking just as hot this summer. The Des Moines Register reports, "NASA scientists and others said that there's a good chance that this year will pass 2015 as the hottest year on record ."
If you allow your body to overheat, you can suffer from various heat-related illnesses, including a fatal heat stroke. So what can construction workers do to stay safe under the beating rays this summer?
Water, rest and shade
Drinking water is the most important thing you can do to fight the heat. One rule of thumb: drink four cups of water every hour.
Moreover, taking frequent breaks from the heat will prevent the body from overheating. Strenuous tasks should be accomplished early in the morning or later in the shift when the sun is not overbearing. Seek shade for these breaks. If natural shade is not available, opt for portable shade, such tents or umbrellas.
Know the signs
Heat exhaustion is overpowering and can threaten your health. When you are at work under the heat, be cautious of these signs :
  • Dizziness, fainting or headaches
  • Wet skin and weakness
  • Confusion or irritability
  • Nausea, vomiting or thirst
The more egregious symptoms associated with heat stroke include:
  • Seizures
  • Collapsing
  • Fainting
  • Foggy thinking
Get help right away
If you suspect you are suffering from a heat-related illness at work, move to shade and remove outer clothing. A fan, mist, water and ice may help alleviate any symptoms. It also helps to drink cold water. More important, call a supervisor for help and seek immediate medical attention.
Generally, you can secure workers' compensation benefits for most work injuries, including heat-related illnesses. To qualify for benefits, the injury must be caused by or aggravated by your work responsibilities or the condition of your workplace. If the overwhelming circumstances of your sweltering work environment have compromised your health, speak to a lawyer about work injury benefits.

Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P. Blog

By On behalf of Channing Dutton of Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P. 18 Oct, 2017
Spring and autumn months are highlighted by wind, rain and changing weather. The sudden changes from day to day – often from hour to hour – during these months can make working outside in the elements an unsafe challenge. But,...
By On behalf of Channing Dutton of Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P. 20 Aug, 2017
Whether it is a large building or a small renovation project, construction sites can be dangerous environments for all workers. From ladder falls to falling debris to vehicle accidents, construction workers face catastrophic injuries nearly every day. Even safety equipment,...
By On behalf of Channing Dutton of Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P. 18 Jun, 2017
Construction sites are among the most dangerous work environments in the world. From heavy machinery to powerful tools to dangerous materials, construction workers tend to suffer serious injuries following numerous types of accidents. Unfortunately, many of these accidents are serious...
By On behalf of Channing Dutton of Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P. 13 May, 2017
Water. Rest. Shade.  While manual labor isn’t universally described as “pleasant,” working outside during the spring and autumn months can be rewarding. With a cool breeze and generous cloud cover, workers can go about their business with little-to-no concern regarding...
By On behalf of Channing Dutton of Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P. 17 Feb, 2017
There are countless people who dedicate their lives to improving the infrastructure of this country. They fill potholes, expand highways, put up buildings, and make sure that everyone can travel safely from place to place on a daily basis. Unfortunately,...
By On behalf of Channing Dutton of Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P. 11 Jan, 2017
If you have sustained an injury due to an incident or chronic exposure at work, you have to act and file a claim. Without the financial support of workers' compensation, you could face a decline in quality of life and...
By By Channing Dutton of Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P. 28 Oct, 2016
If you have been exposed to traumatic situations while on the job that have resulted in severe emotional distress, you may be entitled to workers' compensation. Injuries can come in many different forms, and some are more obvious than others....
By By Channing Dutton of Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P. 28 Oct, 2016
If you have been injured while working or you were injured while performing work-related activities, you may be eligible for workers' compensation. Under Iowa law, there are time limitations restricting the amount of time you have to file a workers'...
By By Channing Dutton of Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P. 11 Oct, 2016
When you file a Personal Injury claim, you usually intend to receive financial compensation from the party at fault or the insurance company. You likely want to recoup medical expenses or make up the pay you lost from missing work. Determining...
By On behalf of Channing Dutton of Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P. 06 Sep, 2016
It is important to remain vigilant when you are monitoring elderly family members in a nursing home. Here are steps you can take to ensure your loved one is receiving the care and dignity she deserves as she enters her...
More Posts
Share by: