Summer poses various safety hazards to outdoor workers nationwide, including in North Carolina. Although most workplace injuries are covered by the state-controlled workers’ compensation insurance system, sometimes it is difficult to prove that injuries are work-related. It is the responsibility of employers to protect the safety and health of employees, and excessive heat exposure is a significant hazard that workers face during the summer months.
Too much sun, or even indoor heat, could cause heatstroke if a worker’s internal body temperature exceeds 104 degrees. Leaving it untreated could damage multiple vital organs, including the brain and heart. Too much sun over extended periods can also cause skin cancer, which is regarded as an occupational disease for firefighters, state police and lifeguards.
It is sensible to take the necessary safety precautions. This includes wearing lightweight clothing that covers most of the skin, along with head and eye protection. Sunscreen is essential, and so is frequent breaks in shaded areas, and taking in enough water or sports drinks to prevent dehydration.
North Carolina workers who suffer the consequences of working in the sun for hours on end this summer may find themselves facing doctors’ bills and lost wages. The easiest way in which to deal with it is to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can assist with the navigation of the claims process. Even independent contractors who suffer work-related injuries on the property of someone else might be entitled to seek recovery of damages. If there were unknown hazardous conditions, legal counsel can explain the options for damage recovery, and assist throughout ensuing legal proceedings, which might involve a premises liability lawsuit in civil court.