If you’re working a job that requires you to be outside during the hot, and muggy Iowa summers you need to protect yourself from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Make sure that you are taking adequate breaks and drink enough water.  This is critical to stay safe on the job outdoors in the summer.

Common Jobs that Deal with the Heat

Many people sit in their cubicle and work in an office space that provides air conditioning and a comfortable place to work.  Other people enjoy working outdoors in the summer. It could be working for a local lawn care company, as a police officer, as a construction worker or maintenance crew. Some of the most common outdoor jobs are:

  • Transportation and material moving
  • Production
  • Protective service
  • Installation, maintenance, and repair
  • Construction and extraction
  • Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

Working these types of jobs puts employers and employees in situations that deal with extreme heat and humidity and storms. Employees also risk injury due to malfunctioning machinery, falls, and unsafe work conditions.

In 2015, nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses caused by exposure to environmental heat were most common among transportation and material moving occupations. There were 720 injuries and illnesses caused by heat within that occupation group. The second and third highest was in production and in protective services.

Signs of Heat Exhaustion

As an employer and employee, it’s important to know the signs of heat exhaustion. When one notices these symptoms it is very important to alert another team member and contact emergency personnel. Move the affected person into a shaded area and get them water quickly. The following signs of heat exhaustion are:

  • Cool, moist skin with goosebumps when in the heat
  • Heavy sweating
  • Faintness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Low blood pressure upon standing
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Headache

Although the symptoms may not seem serious at the time, these symptoms, if not treated, can put you out of work as you take time to recover. Heat exhaustion can cause permanent injury in some cases. Heat exhaustion can damage internal organs or in extreme cases, cause a heart attack or stroke.

If you work in one of the occupations listed above and have dealt with extreme heat exhaustion that caused permanent injury contact Nick Platt to discuss your options regarding workers’ comp for heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

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