While the construction industry is especially busy during the summer months, it does not necessarily mean it is safe for workers in Connecticut and elsewhere to labor under the hot sun. As you may know, you can get seriously ill if you are exposed to overly hot conditions without hydration and relief, but you might not know how to recognize the symptoms.
As the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration explains, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are common risks for those who perform heavy labor in hot conditions, especially construction workers in summer. After working outside without adequate breaks and water, you may develop symptoms of heat exhaustion, which can include a headache, confusion, irritability, dizziness, fainting, nausea and vomiting. If you suspect heat exhaustion, you should get to a cooler place immediately and drink some water.
Heat stroke is a more serious heat-related condition, which can be life-threatening. Symptoms include hot, dry skin, fainting, seizures and confusion. Heat stroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect this condition, you should get the person to a cool place and call 911 immediately.
Your employer is responsible for providing training and equipment on avoiding heat-related illnesses, as well as allowing employees necessary breaks and hydration. Workers’ compensation should cover the medical expenses related to treating and recovering from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Since the processes for making a workers’ compensation claim can be complex, the information in this blog is meant to educate you, but it should not replace the advice of a lawyer.