In the wake of an unprecedented heat wave, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an alert to employers to watch for the dangers of extreme heat. While high temperatures can be threatening to anyone, it can be especially dangerous for certain professions, where the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke are high. Employers who force employees to work in these conditions without taking appropriate precautions can place their lives at risk.
What is This OSHA Alert About?
OSHA issued the safety alert after nearly a week of record high temperatures in late August. These unusually high temperatures are dangerous even under normal circumstances, but the extreme heat can be especially dangerous for certain workers. Without appropriate opportunities to cool off, it is highly possible for someone to be severely harmed while working in hot conditions.
What Are the Dangers of Extreme Heat?
Extreme heat can have a seriously harmful effect on the human body, resulting in significant injury or illness. They may start to feel nauseous, dizzy, or fatigued, and may experience abnormal sweating, breathing, and a fast and weak pulse. If the person is not able to cool down, they may even faint or go into a coma, which can indicate a serious risk of long-term harm or death.
What Occupations Are at Risk of Extreme Heat?
Broadly speaking, there are two types of jobs that are at high risk of extreme heat: jobs that are stuck in hot, poorly ventilated areas, and those who are stuck outside without the ability to go indoors. The former category includes cooks, warehouse workers, baggage handlers, and people who operate heavy machinery in factories. The latter category includes construction workers, lifeguards, landscapers, and farm workers, among many others.
What Should You Do if You Are Forced to Work in Extreme Heat?
If you are forced to work in a job that exposes you to extreme heat without an opportunity to rest or cool off, you may be able to seek compensation. However, the only way to know for sure is to contact a lawyer with experience handling labor and employment law claims. The sooner you call, the sooner they can get to work for you.
Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer with more than 42 years’ experience handling the many aspects of employment law. His new book, “Fired!: Protect Your Rights & FIGHT BACK If You’re Terminated, Laid Off, Downsized, Restructured, Forced to Resign or Quit,” is available in hardback, and contains valuable advice on dealing with employment and labor law issues. To purchase the book, feel free to contact Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or visit the website at legalstratpub.com. To inquire about a legal matter, please feel free to contact attorney Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.