New Jersey Heat-Related Injury Lawyers

Heat Related Injuries Lawyers In New Jersey.Did you know you are at a higher risk of workplace injury during hot days, including in indoor and outdoor workplaces? Recent summers have boasted some of the hottest temperatures, making it a perfect time for grilling or outside fun. Outside of leisure time, workers must know that the extreme heat can be dangerous for their health, where dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke all become more likely. Even regular physical injuries become more common.

Heat-Related Injuries: Important Information

Workers have a 6% to 9% higher risk of injury on days above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Those numbers climb to 10% to 15% when the outside temperature reaches 100 degrees or higher.[1] This information was concluded by assessing local weather on more than 11 million California workers’ comp claims.

During the summer and on hot days, indoor workspaces with air conditioning, increased air flow, and evaporative cooling will make your workplace safer. In indoor facilities such as warehouses and those running production lines, extreme heat can become an issue if they are not climate controlled or air conditioned.[2]

Heat stress can cause your motor skills to decline.[3] When handling tools that require concentration or attention, such as a hammer or a chainsaw, it becomes more likely you can hurt yourself in the process.

At Livingston DiMarzio, LLP, we understand that work-related accidents happen and are unexpected. When they do, injury can prevent you from doing the things you love to do. This is when you will want to file for workers’ compensation benefits to keep your finances in check and keep you grounded. If you choose us, we are committed towards placing you on a path to recovery.

When working in adverse conditions such as high or extreme heat, there are a few things to keep in mind. Common heat-related illnesses you may be at risk for include:

Heat-Related Illnesses

Dehydration

Dehydration is more lethal among older adults. They and other workers may experience certain symptoms before dehydration, including:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Less frequent urination
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion[4]

Heat Exhaustion

When you experience heat exhaustion, your body overheats. Telltale signs and symptoms include:

  • Cool, moist skin with goose bumps
  • Heavy sweating
  • Faintness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Low blood pressure upon standing
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Headaches[5]

Heatstroke

Heatstroke is the most severe form of heat injury. A common benchmark of heatstroke is if your body temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Heatstroke should necessitate emergency treatment. The longer one goes untreated, the more likely extensive permanent damage will result in the brain, heart, kidneys, or muscles. The most serious complication is death, in which case you will want to hire a wrongful death lawyer. Signs and symptoms of a heatstroke include:

  • High body temperature
  • Unusual mental state or behavior, such as that resulting from confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, or a coma
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Flushed or red skin
  • Rapid and shallow breathing
  • Racing heart rate
  • Headache[6]

What to Do in Case of a Stroke

These do-it-yourself remedies and treatments can help you recover and prevent disastrous injury in case of a stroke. These are not intended to replace emergency medical treatment, however:

  • Bathe in cool or ice water, such as in a pond, stream, or pool.
  • Cool off with damp sheets and a fan
  • Take a cold shower
  • Rehydrate – avoiding sugary or alcoholic beverages
  • Transition to a shady or air-conditioned area[7]

Preventing Heat-Related Illness

When working in hot weather, depending on your conditions, remember to:

  • Wear loose fitting, or lightweight clothing that will allow your body to cool and control core body temperature
  • Drink plenty of fluids to revitalize
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat
  • Take frequent breaks in the shade or away from heat sources
  • Work shorter shifts
  • Slow down physical activity if recommended by your supervisor, like reducing manual handling speeds
  • Get acclimated to working in heat. It can take a few weeks for your body to be accustomed to hotter weather.[8]
  • Be wary of what medications you are taking when you expect to work in extreme heat
  • If pregnant, take extra precautions, or consider avoiding working in extreme heat
  • Avoid radiant heat sources (e.g. machinery)[9]

Go at Your Own Pace

Be careful working in high humidity. Heatwaves have been common and will continue to be deadly at a time when climate change continues to upend ecosystems.

Remember to take it easy. You are at greater risk for any heat-related illness if you overwork yourself. Sometimes you may not notice that you are overexerting yourself. It may be tempting to want to finish a task quicker or leave work sooner but remember that there is no rush. Go at your own pace and you might just end up avoiding injury.

If you or someone else needs to call 911 in case of your heat-related illness, be sure to wait for paramedics to arrive in a cool area, away from the sun. Medical professionals will help to rehabilitate you once you are in their care.

COVID-19 Guidance

You may want to take extra precautions to protect yourself. These include:

  • Wear a cloth face covering or mask that is lightweight or light in color.
  • Consider wearing protective garments that are also lightweight, made of breathable materials, and light in color.
  • Assess whether your face covering is damp or dirty, which can affect your airflow, in which case replace it with a clean one.
  • If you are outdoors during extreme heat, you may remove your mask when social distancing.
  • If you find that wearing a mask restricts your airflow, consult with a medical professional on your alternatives.[10]
  • During a heat stroke, make sure to remove your mask or PPE.[11]

Steps Your Employer Can Take

  • Install cooling stations – These may provide shade, and cooling or misting fans. Pre-packaged water bottles may be provided during the pandemic, or a water dispenser may be provided while having workers follow CDC guidance.
  • Modify schedules so that the work is completed overnight or in the cooler parts of the day.
  • Ventilate your facility by opening windows, using fans, and increasing circulation of outdoor air.
  • Train workers on emergency first aid plans in case a worker suffers from a heat-related illness or stroke.[12]

Why Choose The Workplace Lawyers?

Livingston DiMarzio, LLP is New Jersey’s top workers’ compensation law firm. For over 40 years, our clients have trusted us for strong representation. We do not give up, and neither should you. If you have been the victim of a heat-related injury during work, we encourage you to seek legal counsel in a workers’ compensation lawyer.

We understand that having the freedom to pursue your goals requires financial stability. We also know that you hope to recover as quickly as possible. If you take care of loved ones, it is important to make sure that you and your family are well-supported. Give us a call today for a free consultation at 973-718-3769 or fill out an online case form and we will be sure to get back to you.

[1] Dunseith, Les. “High Temperatures Increase Workers’ Injury Risk, Whether They’re Outdoors or Inside.” UCLA, Regents of University of California, 16 July 2021, newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/high-temperatures-worker-injury-risk.

[2] “High Heat Increases Risk of Injuries for Inside and Outdoor Workers.” InterWest Insurance Services, LLC, InterWest Insurance Services, LLC, www.iwins.com/high-heat-increases-risk-of-injuries-for-inside-and-outdoor-workers/.

[3] Ibid.

[4] “Dehydration.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 19 Sept. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/symptoms-causes/syc-20354086.

[5] “Heat Exhaustion.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 1 July 2021, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-exhaustion/symptoms-causes/syc-20373250.

[6] “Heatstroke.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 1 July 2021, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-stroke/symptoms-causes/syc-20353581.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] “Employer Information for Heat Stress Prevention during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/heat-stress-employers.html

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

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