It can be dangerous to engage in any kind of physical activity in the summer heat, to say nothing of hard, physical work. Workers in New York need to be aware of the special challenges that come when working under the summer sun, and what steps they need to take to help prevent a work-related illness or injury.
Heat-related illnesses are serious
Heat exhaustion can leave you feeling extremely ill. If not treated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which can be fatal. If you find yourself feeling dizzy, nauseous or disoriented, you should seek shelter in a cool place and hydrate. This is especially important for workers whose jobs require them to wear heavy protective gear. In the words of OSHA, “Water. Rest. Shade.”
Heat is not the only enemy of outdoor workers in the summer. Prolonged sun exposure can lead to skin cancer. Unsettled weather can result in lightning strikes. Mosquitos and ticks can pass on serious diseases to humans. It’s important to remain aware of these risk factors and to protect yourself accordingly.
Indoor workers are not exempt
People who work indoors are also susceptible to heat-related problems. Bakers, cooks, MTA employees and warehouse workers often toil in excessive heat. Frequent breaks to cool off and to rehydrate are just as important for indoor workers as they are for outdoor workers.
Stay safe this summer season
Take whatever steps you can to help keep yourself safe this summer. If you do happen to be overcome with a work-related illness or if you suffer a work-related injury, remember that you will likely be eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits.