HEAT EXHAUSTION WORKERS’ COMP ATTORNEYS IN SAN DIEGO & IMPERIAL COUNTY
San Diego and Imperial County are known for warm weather and sunny skies. While ideal conditions for a day at the beach, heat exposure can be dangerous for employees who work outside. During summer, temperatures often soar over 90 degrees, putting agriculture, construction, landscaping, transportation injury, delivery drivers, and other outdoor workers at risk for heat illness. Heat exhaustion and heatstroke can escalate quickly and lead to loss of consciousness, organ failure, and even death. While California employers are required to have heat safety procedures in place, accidents still happen.
At The Law Office of Matthew Russell, our heat exhaustion attorneys can help you collect compensation for your heat-related illness in San Diego County.
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SIGNS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEATSTROKE
The signs of heat-related illnesses range from mild to severe.
SIGNS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION
-Cold, pale, clammy skin
-Fast, weak pulse
-Tiredness or weakness
-Loss of consciousness
Without treatment, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke and other complications, including brain damage and organ failure.
SIGNS OF HEATSTROKE
-High body temperature
-Hot, red, dry or damp skin
-Fast, strong pulse
-Convulsions or unresponsiveness
The initial recovery following heatstroke can take as little as one to two days in the hospital, longer if there is organ damage. Long-term recovery can take anywhere from two months up to a year. Without quick and effective treatment, the brain, lungs, kidneys, liver, and other organs can be permanently damaged, impairing a worker’s health and quality of life.
ARE THERE LAWS THAT PROTECT WORKERS FROM HEAT ILLNESS ON THE JOB?
California heatstroke law requires employers with outdoor places of employment to have prevention policies in place. Under this law, employers must provide workers with a five-minute cooldown break in the shade every hour. During this time, employees are not required to perform any type of work. These breaks must be paid under federal and state minimum wage laws. An employer’s heatstroke prevention policy should include extra safety procedures when the temperature exceeds 95 degrees fahrenheit.
Outdoor workers aren’t the only ones at risk for suffering a heat-related illness on the job. Warehouse employees, for example, have physically demanding jobs and can suffer heat exhaustion or heatstroke if the temperature in their indoor workplace exceeds a safe temperature. California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) is in the process of developing an indoor heat illness prevention standard. It will require that employers maintain a heat index below 82 degrees, among other stipulations, to prevent worker illnesses and deaths due to excessive heat exposure.
HAVE YOU SUFFERED A HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS ON THE JOB?
In a place where warm weather and sunshine are in the forecast most of the year, nearly all San Diego workers are susceptible to a heat-related illness. Those who work in agriculture, construction, landscaping, and transportation are at an especially high risk for heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Employers have a responsibility to provide employees with water and cooldown breaks in the shade. If you or someone you love has suffered a heat-related illness due to unsafe working conditions, you may be able to file for benefits under workers’ compensation.
At The Law Office of Matthew Russell, our heat exhaustion attorneys will evaluate your case and walk you through the entire process of filing a workers’ compensation claim for your heat-related illness. Once approved, you will receive benefits that will cover all related medical expenses as well as disability benefits that will replace a portion of your lost income while you recover. Don’t delay; the deadline to file for workers’ compensation is 30 days from the date of your accident. Call us today to begin the process and take control of your physical and financial recovery.