Working in the heat can be a danger, but there are ways to reduce the risk. Knowing how to recognize the signs of heat stress and how to prevent the condition are both very important. If you're injured due to heat stress while working you may have a legal case, but the best choice is to avoid being a victim of heat stress altogether. Paying close attention to how you're feeling when you're working in a very hot environment, or outdoors in a Minnesota summer, can make a big difference in your health. Also keep an eye on the people around you, so you can help them if they appear to be struggling with the heat or humidity.
The Signs of Heat Stress
If you're developing heat stress you may notice muscle spasms in the legs or arms, or even in the abdomen. Other signs of heat stress include:
- Rapid Pulse
- Loss of Consciousness
Preventing Heat Stress
To help prevent heat stress, drink around six ounces of cool (not cold) water, every 15 to 20 minutes. That will help you stay hydrated and keep your body cooler. You may also want to replace electrolytes through a sports drink if you're sweating a lot or you're going to be working in the heat for long periods of time. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink something. That's not a good indicator of whether you're hydrated or not, and by the time your body signals you for water you may already be slightly dehydrated. Getting rehydrated quickly, especially in the heat, isn't easy. Salty foods can also help, and so can finding a cooler spot, such as a place with shade or air conditioning. Cool water can be used to bathe a person who is feeling poorly, as well.
What To Do if You're Injured
If you've been injured because of the heat, your first step should be securing the medical attention you need. After that, you should seek worker's compensation benefits. These benefits are not always easy to secure and hiring a good attorney can make the process easier. Attorney Gerald W. Bosch at Bosch Law Firm, Ltd. helps Minnesota workers who have been injured at work. To learn how he might help you, call him toll free at 800-355-6503, or contact him online.