Construction work always involves risk to the safety and health of people in that profession. However, the summer months bring additional dangers -- particularly to those who work outside.
Summer in Illinois means a boom in construction work that can't be done during our cold, snowy winters. However, Illinois summers can be brutally hot and humid. That heat is not just uncomfortable. It can be dangerous.
Employers should always ensure that their workers take the appropriate precautions to avoid suffering heat stroke and other heat-related conditions. Workers should also be trained to recognize signs of heat stroke in their co-workers and themselves. Symptoms can include cramps, loss of consciousness, hot skin with no perspiration and confusion. When a worker displays one or more of these signs, you should call 911.
It's essential to follow these tips to help avoid heat-related illness:
Drink plenty of the right kind of beverages
This includes water, of course. Workers out in the sun should consume a glass of water every 15 minutes. Beverages that are designed to replace electrolytes are good, too. Just avoid energy drinks and sodas.
Avoid greasy, fatty foods
Burgers and fries aren't a good lunch choice on hot summer days. These kinds of food will only deplete your energy. It's best to have a light lunch.
Avoid air-conditioned areas
It may be tempting to escape to air-conditioned indoor areas during your breaks. However, going from the heat to the air conditioning and back will only make it more difficult for your body to adjust to that heat.
Not only is heat stroke dangerous in and of itself, but it can lead to unnecessary accidents and injuries in the workplace. If you suffered a heat-related illness on the job or a workplace injury that resulted from that illness because your employer didn't take adequate precautions, it may be a good idea to consult with an attorney who can help you seek the compensation you need and deserve.