When individuals consider what constitutes a dangerous work condition,
many things may come to mind. But what may not come to mind is that heat
illness in outdoor workers is considered aworkplace injury. With the recent extreme temperatures, this is definitely something outdoor
workers in Pittsburgh should do their best to avoid.
This summer has been extremely warm. OSHA has recently issued an urgent
call to action for all outdoor workers and their employers. OSHA is advising
them to take frequent breaks in cool areas and drink at least four cups
of water every hour.
Most heat-related injuries on the job happen when an individual is new
to the position. So it is also important for employers to ease new employees
into their job responsibilities so as not to strain them in this kind of heat.
Under Pennsylvania workers' compensation law, an individual is entitled
to workers' compensation benefits if he or she suffers from a workplace
injury. These benefits help pay for any expenses that may arise as a result
of the injury as well as lost wages for being away from work recovering
from the injury. If the accident results in the death of an employee,
such as an employee dying from heat stroke, then the deceased's loved
ones may be able to recover death benefits.
In the case of some injuries, employers can sometimes be difficult about
providing compensation and will push back. Since there are so few OSHA
regulations regarding heat illnesses, this has the potential to be a more
difficult area to recover workers' compensation benefits.
The application and recovery process can be very overwhelming for injured
workers and their loved ones, but they should not let this cause delay.
No matter what the injury, if workers' compensation may be an option,
it is important to initiate the application process as quickly as possible.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Extreme heat takes toll on outdoor workers," Peter Sullivan, July 19, 2012