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Dangers of heat exposure for workers

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Colorado workers who work in high-pressure environments like factories or warehouses know that hazardous conditions can exist indoors as well outdoors. Industrial workers are particularly susceptible to indoor conditions where the temperature inside is much hotter than the temperature outdoors. Working all day in this type of environment makes the worker susceptible to heat exposure.

What happens when someone falls victim to heat exposure?

When someone is exposed to intense, persistent heat for extended periods of time, they potentially fall victim to heat stress. They’re then susceptible to a wide variety of heat-related conditions, including heat stroke, heat rashes, heat exhaustion or heat cramps.

Heat stroke is probably the most dangerous heat-related illness. It happens when the body is no longer able to regulate its temperature. The body’s temperature rises suddenly, sometimes going as high as 106 degrees Fahrenheit. A simple two-degree increase in body temperature results in the victim becoming disoriented, and a sudden five-degree increase in body temperature could result in death. The body temperature issues happen because the person is now no longer able to sweat. Not being able to sweat means the body can’t cool itself down, resulting in seizures, permanent disability or death.

Complications with heat exposure

One problem with heat-related injuries is that they’re not always attributed to heat since the symptoms overlap with other diagnoses. People may show up to an emergency room suffering from a rash, a headache or exhaustion. These symptoms match so many illnesses that doctors may not identify it as a cause.

It’s critical that employers whose employees work in intensely hot environments put precautions in place that help keep them safe. Not doing so puts workers’ health and very lives at risk, and it makes for an extremely unpleasant work environment. It also makes it more likely for employees to have to file for workers’ comp.

Who can people turn to when they have questions about workplace conditions?

A dangerous work environment is physically and emotionally debilitating. People who have questions about filing for workers’ comp after an injury may benefit by working with attorneys who have experience with these types of cases.

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