Living in Florida, you should be no stranger to the heat. Even in the winter months, the sunshine state gets its fair share of sun and warmth. While Florida’s perennial heat is great for tourism, it can pose a real safety threat, especially the state’s outdoor laborers.
Heat stress and other heat-related conditions are some of the largest issues facing workers and laborers who’s work requires long stretches outside. Among the groups most directly affected, agriculture and construction laborers are subject to some of the highest risks due to their prolonged exposure to outside heat and intensive nature of their work.
Working outside for prolonged hours in intense heat can have devastating effects on the body. There have been numerous cases of construction workers with unchecked heat exhaustion leading to heat stroke. Once a body goes into heat stroke, it loses the ability to control an internal body temperature. Without immediate medical attention, the body’s temperature can skyrocket, causing severe disability and even death.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires that employers of outdoor workers provide their outdoor workers with plenty of access to shade, water, and regular breaks.
Despite workplace safety standards in place, reports show that many outdoor laborers feel compelled or obligated to stay at their task with minimal breaks. That mindset, combined with extreme heat, is a potentially dangerous recipe. And experts say that with rising temperatures, heat stress could pose an even greater risk.
Signs of Heat Stress
Whether you’re an employer or laborer, it’s important to be able to spot the signs of oncoming heat stress. Here are some common indications of heat-related complications:
- Excessive sweating is the most common symptom of heat stress
- Persistent headaches
- Nausea + vomiting
Heat stress and other heat-related conditions are a serious thing. It’s important to report any employer neglect for outdoor workers working in high-heat conditions.
If you have suffered a personal injury or know someone who has been affected by heat illness, there is support. Contact our team today.