Climate change has increased temperatures across the globe to unprecedented levels. This has led to an increase in heat-related workplace injuries, concentrated amongst the poorer workforce. Climate change has effectively worsened inequality. Naturally, workers living below the poverty line rarely report heat-related injuries because of job instability.
Heat-related work injuries compromise focus, leading to accidents that can cause serious damage. These can include a fainting spell that leads to a fall from a scaffold and dehydration that impairs the driving skills of a truck driver and others.
Hyperthermia is a heat-related illness. It results from exposure to extreme heat, during which time the body is unable to cool itself, leading to a rapid rise in internal temperature. We remain cool if sweat evaporates steadily, but if high humidity levels slow down that process, we retain more heat than healthy.
Quick treatment of these illnesses and instant access to fluids can cool the core body temperature down to healthy levels and prevent a fatal outcome.
Exposure to extreme heat can cause health concerns that worsen pre-existing conditions such as heart and respiratory disease. Heatstroke/exhaustion are the most common and serious. Common symptoms include:
Besides outdoor workers, high temperatures also threaten the lives of indoor workers in plants, factories, and warehouses. The resulting injuries can lead to high medical bills and lost wages that workers’ compensation may not cover.
Even if it covers damages and offers compensation, since most outdoor and plant workers live below the poverty line, most refuse to take time off work to heal for fear of being fired.
Workplace injury risks, such as heat-based ones, are not spread evenly. Low-paid workers suffer from five times more heat-related injuries than the highest-paid workers. The difference is logical if we consider the work conditions both types of workers are in.
The former are exposed to hazardous conditions that their workspaces are rarely air-conditioned. On the other hand, the latter work in temperature-controlled environments, so their chances of getting a heat stroke are rare.
The bottom line is that heat-related work injuries are getting more common by the day, and outdoor workers living below the poverty line are bearing the brunt. To ensure employers take you seriously, do not hesitate to file a workers’ compensation claim with the company.
If the insurance company or your employer denied your workers’ compensation claim for heat-related work injuries, contact Woodstock personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens today. We will take a detailed look at your case’s facts and form a strategy that can help you get the compensation you deserve.
The consultation is 100% free of cost, and you will not be asked to sign anything during it either. That’s now how we work. We want our clients to be as comfortable and stress-free as possible as they fight for their rights. You don’t have to pay out of pocket for job-related injuries. Get in touch with us today!