5 Dangerous Ways Extreme Heat in Southern California Can Lead to a Workers’ Comp Claim
Studies reveal that extreme heat increases the risk of getting injured while working.
University of California Los Angeles released a report on extreme heat that states when temperatures reach over 100 degrees, the risk for injuries increases by 10 to 15 percent. Even 90 degree temperatures see a 6 to 9 percent increase.
In Southern California, heat can very by location. While temperatures are generally cooler along the coasts, there may be extreme heat in Riverside County, San Bernardino County, the Santa Clarita Valley, or even the San Fernando Valley.
Not all jobs can be indoors with air conditioning. Many workers are on the job outdoors, such as employees in construction or roofing.
Working outdoors in extreme heat is very dangerous. There are many different ways that extreme heat can lead to injuries.
A heat stroke is the most serious injury related to extreme heat. Heat stroke occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature, sometimes rising to 106 degrees or even higher.
Heat stroke can even lead to disability or even death.
Extreme heat can dehydrate a person. Workers who are dehydrated might faint on the job, which can cause them to fall from an elevated spot, or crash heavy machinery.
Heat exhaustion is the body’s reaction to excessive loss of water and salt by excessive sweating. The Centers for Disease Control reports that employees working outdoors are highly susceptible to heat exhaustion.
Heat cramps may occur when someone profusely sweats during strenuous activities. Muscle cramps, pain, or spasms in the abdomen, arms, or legs are common symptoms.
A heat rash can develop on the skin, usually after excessive sweating. Heat rashes are extremely common in hot or humid climates.
Workers’ can stay safe from extreme heat by:
- Drinking plenty of water.
- Wearing loose, lightweight clothing
- Taking breaks, especially in the shade or cooler areas
- Applying sunscreen to exposed areas
When temperatures climb in Southern California, your risk of heat-related injuries increases as well.
Areas more at risk for extreme heat in the Inland Empire may include:
- San Bernardino
- Moreno Valley
Los Angeles neighborhoods or cities in the San Fernando Valley prone to heat include:
- North Hollywood
- Van Nuys
- Woodland Hills
Workers in these areas should take necessary precautions when working outdoors during a heat wave.
Employers should also be more accommodating to their employees in extreme heat.
Employers can aid their employees by:
- Providing water for employees
- Allowing longer or more frequent breaks
- Helping educate employees on safety during excessive heat
Employers must provide a safe and healthy environment for all employees. Failure to do so can lead to a workplace injury and a workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ compensation is available to employees who suffer an injury or illness on the job performing job related functions. Employees can receive benefits to help recover from lost wages due to missed time at work from the injury.
Potential benefits available to injured workers include:
- Medical benefits to help with payment for expensive hospital bills or doctor’s visits.
- Disability benefits to help with wages lost due to injuries. Both permanent and temporary are possible.
- Vocational rehabilitation to help with job training or retraining if your injury or illness prevents you from returning to your previous job.
- Death benefits to help dependents following a job-related death.
If you are injured in extreme heat, it does not mean your workers’ compensation claim will be easy. There are potential roadblocks:
- If you have a complex or multi-layered claim
- If you file a claim past the one year statute of limitations
- If your injury was the result of a disqualifying action
- If you have a pre-existing condition
If you suffer an injury due to extreme heat, be sure to notify your employer as quickly as possible. Seek medical attention, and if safe to do so, take photos and videos of any injuries.
Just because your workers’ compensation claim is denied does not mean you should back down. You deserve safety at your job, and extreme heat is no excuse to deny a claim.
At C&B Law Group, our Burbank workers’ compensation attorneys are prepared to help you following an extreme heat related injury or illness at work.
We will help build a case with evidence, such as security footage of the injury, witness testimonies, and gathering medical reports from your treating physicians.
You shouldn’t have to settle for less. Let our team help you.
Reach out to the Southern California heat injury attorneys at C&B Law Group today for a free consultation.