Many California residents are anxiously awaiting the change of seasons when the mornings are crisp and the leaves change colors. However, even as autumn is rapidly approaching, a heat-related workplace injury is still a possibility. It is not unheard of for parts of the state to experience high temperatures as summer refuses to end.
Therefore, this is a good time to remind employers and employees that the danger of illnesses such as heat stroke is not over. Construction workers often work outdoors and should be aware of the signs of a heat-related illness. Cool water and shade are required to be provided by employers. It may also be necessary to remind workers often that they need to drink water and take breaks to cool down.
Supervisors should also be made aware of the symptoms of illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. When the temperatures climb higher than 95 degrees, extra precautions are required of supervisors. Supervisors at a work site should be able to handle a heat emergency and quickly communicate with emergency responders.
Of course, this is not the only danger California's construction workers are faced with, but it is one that can sneak up without warning. If an employer fails to fulfill Cal/OSHA's requirements, a heat-related workplace injury could easily occur. If it does, an injured worker may receive workers' compensation benefits to cover the medical costs and lost income that may accumulate during recovery. If the worst happens, and a worker dies, his or her family may receive benefits as well to help pay for the funeral and burial of their loved one along with a compensation package for the loss of his or her income.
Source: workerscompensation.com, "Cal/OSHA Issues High Heat Advisory as Heat Wave Arrives in Southern California", , Sept. 12, 2014