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Are you at a higher risk for a heat-related injury?

On Behalf of | Aug 13, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

In the summer months, the temperatures in Missouri can be quite high, as well as the humidity levels. These elevated temperatures can make it quite difficult for employees in certain types of jobs to work outdoors. In addition to it simply being unpleasant to work in the heat, it can also be a threat to your health, especially if you have certain risk factors. It is your right to be as safe as reasonably possible while you are at work. 

Employers bear the responsibility of ensuring their workers are safe while in the heat and exposed to the elements. You may find it beneficial to know what this includes and how you can protect yourself while also doing your job. It is also helpful to know how to proceed in the event your work causes you physical harm. 

Your safety at work 

There is always a risk that working in the heat can lead to certain types of illnesses, even for healthy individuals. However, certain workers may face an elevated risk of harm during the summer months if their jobs require them to be outdoors. Risk factors that could be harmful for outdoor workers include: 

  • High body mass index 
  • High blood pressure and heart disease 
  • Low levels of physical fitness 
  • Use of certain types of medications 

If you work outdoors and any of these apply to you, you could face a risk of becoming ill when working outdoors. Not everyone tolerates heat the same way, so it is necessary for you to be aware of how you feel. Your employer should also provide you with certain protections for outdoor work, including having water available and mandating breaks. It may also be possible to adjust work schedules to allow you to avoid working outside during the highest temperatures of the day.  

What happens if you’re sick? 

If you are sick from a heat-related illness you contracted because of your job, you could be eligible for financial support from a workers’ compensation claim. This type of insurance coverage offers you the opportunity to recoup losses related to medical bills, lost wages and more. You may also be able to secure logistical and financial help as you attempt to reenter the workforce after your recovery. These claims are time-sensitive, and it is often beneficial to move quickly to file.