New York residents who work outdoors know how oppressive summer temperatures in the Empire State can be. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recorded more than 2,600 cases of temperature-related illness or injury to workers around the country in 2014, and heat stroke claimed the lives of 18 American workers. Many of these injuries and deaths may have been prevented if the dangers or working outdoors in searing temperatures were better understood, and this has prompted the federal safety agency to launch a campaign designed to educate both employers and workers about how to get through the summer months without incident.
Many of the campaign’s suggestions may seem like basic common sense to those accustomed to working outdoors, but OSHA points out that workers with only a few days of experience are often among the sick or injured when temperatures climb during the summer months. OSHA urges employers to provide a sheltered area that workers can use during regular breaks that features an ample supply of potable water. The OSHA campaign features instructional videos, illustrations showing the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and a series of useful links. The campaign is being promoted by the agency on social media as well as an updated webpage.
OSHA worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration safety campaign to develop a set of guidelines designed to protect outdoor workers from injuries caused by lightning. Workers are reminded to remain indoors or under shelter for up to 30 minutes after storms have subsided because lightning can strike several miles away from the scene of heavy rainfall.
While workers who suffer heat-related illnesses and injuries often recover fairly quickly, they could still be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Those who suffer minor injuries in workplace accidents are sometimes reluctant to file a workers’ compensation claim due to the complexity of the process, and attorneys with experience in this area may explain how the system works and assist them with the paperwork.