According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an average of 1,500 people die each year from exposure to excessive heat. Fatalities are not the only effect of excessive heat. Without proper precautions and safety measures, people can suffer a number of heat related illnesses, especially if they work outdoors. With this in mind, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a national outreach campaign, emphasizing the need for “Water. Rest. Shade.”, targeting both employers and workers alike, to prevent heat related illness and injury to outdoor workers.
Any job site that involves radiant heat sources, high air temperatures, high humidity levels, heavy physical labor and/or direct physical contact with hot objects increases the chances for heat stress-related illness. Although outdoor workers are at risk more so in the summer months, many employees are at risk year round.
OSHA establishes safety standards to prevent illness and fatalities related to excessive heat exposure, but many job supervisors still do not take the proper safety precautions to protect their workers. Some work environments which increase risk of heat illnesses such as heat stroke, dehydration, cramps and rashes include those found at: construction sites, farms, laundries, bakeries/kitchens, mining sites and foundries.
Many heat-related illnesses caused by excessive exposure to heat and/or sun could have been prevented if the appropriate precautions had been taken, including proper hydration, rest and shade for workers when needed. At Blume Forte, our workplace injury lawyers in New Jersey can assist workers who have sustained injury or illness due to contractor negligence. We can help you pursue compensation for the losses you’ve suffered. To determine if you may have a viable claim, call us at 973-635-5400.