Do you work outside? Whether you’re a construction worker, truck driver, or you work in the oil field industry in Hobbs, NM, you’re no stranger to the brutal conditions of working in the heat. However, like the rest of the nation, Hobbs is seeing an intense heatwave. For individuals who work outside, this means an increase in the likelihood of injury or illness.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), one of the most common heat-related injuries is a heat stroke. When the body temperature rises to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, within 15 minutes or less, a heatstroke may occur. Heat strokes often result in permanent disability or even death.
Other heat-related injuries, illnesses, or complications include:
- Heat rash
- High blood pressure
- Muscle pain and/or muscle cramps
- Weakness in the body
- And many other serious conditions
Tips for Staying Safe Outdoors
In 2011, OSHA launched a campaign called the Heat Illness Prevention to raise awareness regarding the dangers of working in the heat. It focuses on three main safety tips: water, rest, and shade. As a whole, the campaign’s message is geared toward bringing awareness to employers with workers who work in extreme heat conditions on a daily basis.
Under OSHA law, employers hold the responsibility of providing safety measures for workers who are exposed to high temperatures in order to prevent heat-related illnesses or injuries. Here are the requirements for employers, according to OSHA:
- Employers must provide workers with water, shade, and rest.
- Employers should look for signs of illness in employees.
- Employers must allow workers to gradually increase their workloads and take frequent breaks until they are able to increase their tolerance for working in the heat.
- There should be a plan or emergencies and workers should be trained on prevention measures.
As a worker, there are a couple of key things you can do to protect yourself while working in intense heat:
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, attempt to drink water every 15-20 minutes.
- Wear a hat to protect your eyes.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing and avoid materials such as synthetic cotton. Instead, wear cotton and light colors.
- When possible, take a break in the shade.
- Avoid drinking excessive caffeine or sugary drinks, which can cause dehydration.
If You’re Involved in an Accident at Work, Contact a Workers’ Comp Lawyer
The temperatures in Hobbs have been high. We’re seeing streaks of 100-degree weather, which means a greater risk for heat-related accidents. If you or someone you know is involved in an accident at work, contact our workers’ comp lawyer.
As a workers’ comp lawyer, Javier Martinez, Jr. is committed to ensuring you are protected in the event of a workplace accident. Our law firm, as a whole, will help guide your case and protect your rights as a worker. Please do not hesitate to contact us!