If you are an employee who has to work in the field a lot, then you need to be wary of injuries related to extreme temperatures. For example, working outside during the hot summer months can easily cause heat exhaustion. Here are some practical tips to keep you safe when working at elevated temperatures:
Wear Light Clothing
Heat exhaustion is one of the most dangerous aspects of working in the sun. The more clothing you have on, the more you will trap heat around your body; thick clothes also have the same effect. Therefore, keep your clothing minimal and light so that you can lose heat easily.
Keep Your Body Hydrated
One of the effects of working in the sun is that you lose a lot of water in the form of sweat; this causes dehydration. Dehydration is dangerous because the body needs adequate fluids to cool down, get rid of waste, and ensure efficient blood circulation. Fortunately, hydration is as easy as taking regular drinks of water or consuming other foods and drinks that contain water, such as juicy fruits.
Take Regular Breaks
Even if you are on a deadline and want to finish the work as soon as possible, you deserve frequent breaks. Working too long in the sun can give you heat exhaustion or even disorient you; such things can interfere with your deadline even more than taking frequent breaks because you will not be able to work if you are sick. Ideally, you should rejuvenate under a shed while working in the sun. For example, if you are working on the roof under a hot sun, don't just take your breaks on the roof; get down and look for a shed to give your body proper rest.
Follow Your Employer's Instructions
Most employers have policies in place to protect their employees from heat-related injuries. It's up to you to adhere to these policies and obey your employer's instructions to the letter; don't risk your health with shortcuts. For example, if your employer prohibits you from working in the sun for more than three hours without taking a break, then that is exactly what you should do.
Listen to Your Body
In most cases, your body will give you warning signs long before the heat can cause actual damage to your health. For example, you may feel disoriented, weak, and dizzy; take such signs to mean that your body is telling you to rest.
Even if you forget to take one of these precautions and get injured, you have the right to pursue worker's compensation benefits. Your employer or their worker's compensation insurance carrier cannot use your "carelessness" to deny you worker's compensation benefits. Consult a worker's compensation lawyer such as Neifert Byrne & Ozga if you are having difficulties with your claim.