The record summer heatwave is a concern for workers and heat-related work injuries in Georgia. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis recently released a statement regarding these dangerous conditions and words of warning to outdoor employees and employers.Our Georgia workers compensation lawyers understand the heat and outdoor labor can produce deadly results. As states across the nation continue to experience record temperatures, workers are at an increased risk for heat-related work injuries, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Employers are responsible to keep their workers safe in these scorching temperatures.
Employer tips to keep you workers cool:
-Create a work site plan to help prevent heat-related illnesses.
-Make sure that medical services are available to respond to a heat-related emergency should one occur.
-Keep your workers hydrated. Provide plenty of water at the job site and remind them to drink small amounts of water frequently, about every 15 minutes.
-Make sure that you’ve schedule rest breaks for all workers throughout their work shift. During this time they should be provided a shaded or air conditioned rest area nearby.
-Allow all new employees to get used to the heat before increasing their workload.
-If at all possible, schedule heavy tasks for earlier in the day.
-Inform workers about the symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke and make sure they know what to do in the event of an emergency.
“Remember: water, rest, shade – the three keys to preventing heat-related illnesses in this extreme heat,” says Hilda.
The Department of Labor reports that nearly 100 workers have been injured or been killed because of a heat-related injuries on the job in the United States since April of 2007.
How to recognize heat exhaustion:
-Extreme weakness or fatigue
-Clammy, moist skin
-Pale or flushed complexion
-Slightly elevated body temperature
-Fast and shallow breathing
The Occupation Safety & Health Administration also urges employers to work closely with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an organization that provides weather service alerts for all areas. Their website includes a Heat Watch page that alerts employers about extreme heat alerts.
If you’ve experienced a serious injury at work in the Atlanta area and want to discuss your rights, contact the experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at J. Franklin Burns. Call 404-303-7770 to make a free appointment to discuss your claim.