Some jobs involve spending time outdoors — no matter what the weather. Some jobs can get workers hot under the collar even if they work indoors, however. Heat-related illnesses can be both debilitating and deadly, so read on to find out about the benefits you might deserve from your employer's workers' compensation insurer.
What to Know About Heat-Related Injuries
Two dangerous conditions can occur when the body gets overheated. Heat stress refers to the first stage of heat stroke and can include fainting, cramping, heat rashes, and more. In the worst-case scenario, the heat will cause some to experience more life-threatening symptoms like confusion, heavy perspiration, chills, and even hallucinations. Call 911 if you or a coworker experiences any of the above symptoms.
Know Your Employer's Responsibilities
It's up to each worker to remain vigilant and take action when working in hot conditions. It's your employer's responsibility, however, to make it easier to work under hot conditions and to provide you with benefits when you get sick from the heat. Rest breaks, water, fans, shade, and other ways to keep cool should be offered to workers when they cannot work in an air-conditioned building. Should workers become ill from the heat, the employer has the responsibility of offering workers' compensation benefits and of cooperating with all necessary procedures.
Know Your Responsibilities
Seek medical treatment for heat injuries immediately. Cooling off is the best way to keep a heat injury from getting worse. Go to the nearest urgent care facility or emergency room and follow all treatment protocols. As soon as you can, let your direct supervisor know about the heat injury and see to it that a workers' comp claim form is filed.
What To Expect From the Workers' Comp Carrier
Once the claim form is accepted, you can expect to have all of your medical treatment needs paid for by the workers' comp carrier. The second benefit to expect is paid time-off. The amount you get is not the same as your salary, however. Finally, workers who are unable to return to work may be offered a monetary settlement from the insurer.
Getting over-heated on the job may sound minor but it can create serious and long-lasting problems for some. Unfortunately, workers' comp benefits are far from a sure thing. You may experience issues with your employer as well. For more information or if you are having trouble with your claim or have been denied coverage, speak to workers' compensation lawyer about your case right away.