Schemery Zicolello

The dangers of heat stress

Pennsylvania workers face a variety of different hazards every day. Depending on people's specific job, the dangers might look different. No matter what the danger is, however, they often have the potential to cause serious and life-threatening injuries in the event of an accident.

One danger that can affect many different types of Pennsylvania workers is heat. As spring turns into summer, the temperatures are likely to rise. This poses a significant threat to many workers. From mine workers to construction workers and others, working in hot spaces can be risky.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, heat stress can cause a variety of serious issues. Some symptoms of heat exhaustion included heavy sweating and thirst. Beyond these more obvious symptoms, weakness, dizziness, nausea, cramps and headache can also indicate that there is a heat issue.

However, there are even more serious symptoms of heat stress. These include confusion, seizures, hot or dry skin, delirium and the loss of consciousness. Any of these symptoms might require the worker to seek immediate medical attention. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to heat stroke which can be life-threatening.

To avoid issues with heat stress, workers should be given adequate rest and work breaks in addition to shade and plenty of water. If possible, air conditioning should be provided. Heavy meals and caffeinated beverages should be discouraged.

If people suffer injuries due to the heat, they may have legal rights. In some cases, workers may be entitled to workers' compensation. Any worker that is injured at work should speak with an attorney to learn about the worker's legal rights.

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