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The Risks of Heat Exposure

Published July 12, 2018 by The Law Offices of John Drew Warlick, P.A.

According to a new study, North Carolina residents could be at risk for heat stroke even when the heat index is less than 91 degrees. If a person has heart disease, diabetes or uses illicit drugs, they could have a fluid imbalance. Workers could also be more likely to experience heat stroke if they are required to work outside while wearing bulky clothing.

The risk of overheating increases for individuals who are given a workload that is too heavy for the weather conditions. Those who experience heat stroke may experience symptoms such as a body temperature of up to 108 degrees. They may also lack the ability to sweat and become confused or disoriented. Supervisors should be trained to recognize the signs of heat stroke to ensure that workers can get the help that they need in a timely manner.

Putting a worker in an ice bath or using misting fans can help to combat the symptoms of heat stroke. Employees who are working in hot conditions should be given frequent breaks and plenty of fluids to drink. If a worker has a condition that could increase the risk of heat stroke, extra precautions should be taken to ensure safety.

If a person experiences heat stroke or any other medical emergency at work, they may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can provide an injured or sick worker with a portion of their wages while out of work. Workers may also be entitled to having their medical bills related to the injury paid in full. An attorney could help those who have questions about the process of obtaining these benefits.

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