Know The Risks
Thanks to the state’s hot and humid climate, it’s never that hard to work up a sweat. If you work outside in Florida, and especially if you perform hard labor as part of your job, you might get heat stroke if you don’t or can’t take care of yourself. Professionals like construction workers, road workers, and lifeguards are all at risk of suffering from heat stroke, although lifeguards have the advantage of taking a dip in the water whenever they need to cool down. Chefs can also suffer from heat stroke thanks to hot stoves and ovens.
In general, the risk of heat stroke starts once the temperature reaches 91 degrees Fahrenheit, and it becomes very dangerous once it reaches 103 degrees. Heat stroke is an extreme danger once it hits 115 degrees, and while even Florida’s climate has trouble reaching that high, worksites can get that hot thanks to reflected or trapped heat. A roof can heat up more than the ground below, and a greenhouse is all about trapping light and heat for plants to use. If work has to continue with the temperature like that, you need to be careful.
Know The Symptoms
In general, heat stroke begins once you’ve become dehydrated from sweating out all your water. Sweating is an efficient way to cool down your body: once a good wind hits your skin, your sweat evaporates and takes some of your excess body heat with it. However, if you can’t sweat, you can’t lose that excess heat. Symptoms of heat stroke include:
• Too much or too little sweating
• Shortened breath
• A high body temperature
Fortunately, if you catch heat stroke early you can treat it easily. Just have a seat in the shade, drink something cold, and then relax until the symptoms disappear. However, if you continue to exert yourself while suffering from heat stroke, you could faint or even damage your internal organs.
Know Your Rights
If you suffer some short-term problems from heat stroke, you can recover from them fairly quickly and be back on the job within the hour. However, if your heat stroke goes on for too long, either because you want to push yourself or your boss demands that you try harder, you could suffer long-term or even permanent health problems.
If this happens while you’re on the job, then you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp is a no-fault insurance, so it pays the same no matter who caused the heat stroke to happen. One reason that’s important is because it means the worker can start getting payments for medical treatment right away and not have to argue over whose fault it is first.
However, if you find yourself having trouble getting the workers’ compensation you deserve, you may want to hire a lawyer. At All Injuries Law Firm, we have plenty of experience with Florida’s labor laws and workplace injuries in particular. If you’re having trouble with your employer and workers’ comp, consider contacting us for a free initial case review.