With the temperatures starting to rise in California, employers who have workers outside should ensure they have what they need to remain safe. Even some workers who are indoors will need special protections because the outdoor heat makes the conditions indoors hotter than what’s normal.
Employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment for their employees. This means taking steps to reduce the possibility of heat-related illnesses in the California summer.
What is heat acclimatization?
The majority of workplace fatalities outdoors occur within the first few days of being out in the heat. This is because workers’ bodies haven’t yet adjusted to the summer heat. Over time, people develop a tolerance to high temperatures. This is known as heat acclimatization. When workers don’t go have a chance to let their bodies adjust, such as when a new employee starts a construction job or there’s a sudden upswing in temperatures, there is a chance that they’ll suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
How can employers minimize those risks?
Employees should be able to remain hydrated while they’re working in the heat. Allowing them to drink rehydration beverages and water is often beneficial. They should also have a place to go to cool off if they start to overheat. All employees should be trained on how to handle heat-related injuries if they’re common in the industry or location.
Any employee who suffers from a heat-related illness should ensure they get prompt medical treatment — and a workers’ compensation claim is usually necessary. If you’ve been injured by the heat while working, an attorney can help you get the benefits you need and deserve to protect your future.