Connecticut Employers Must Help Protect Against Heat Stroke
According to Scientific American and other reputable media, July 2023 has been the hottest recorded month ever, and as of this writing, the weather shows no signs of cooling down until autumn. What this means for the average person is that extra precautions must be taken to safeguard one’s health, particularly when outside. This also means different and increased obligations for employers – there are several ways that the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) recommends to help protect employees.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics records only 36 work-related fatalities due to heat in 2021 (the most recent available data), but this data comes with the caveat that heat-related deaths are often underreported. Very often, a death may occur due to heat stroke or dehydration, but be ascribed to another cause, simply because symptoms can mirror other conditions. Temperatures are higher two years later, which means that without proper protections, the number of fatalities may conceivably rise.
OSHA has published several recommendations for employers to implement in order to raise awareness of heat-related conditions. All Connecticut employers should implement at least one of these procedures, both to help protect their employees, and also to potentially cut down on the number of workers’ compensation claims that may be filed before the heat ebbs.
Some of OSHA’s suggestions include:
- Providing training about the risk of heat-related conditions. It is not uncommon for employees to underestimate the risks out of ignorance or a sense of duty, but this is never a good idea.
- Provide enough water for each employee to drink roughly 1 quart per hour, which is the amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- Have a company-wide plan for heat-related illnesses, ensuring that an affected person can get out of the heat quickly.
If an employee develops heat stroke or another heat-related illness, know that in Connecticut and most other states, workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for those injured on the job. In other words, unless certain criteria exist, an employee may not file suit against their employer even if they believe their injury was due to negligence by their employer.
Contact A Stratford, CT Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Staying safe in the record-setting heat is absolutely crucial, and good employers will work hard to ensure their employees are protected. If you have questions about your employer’s heat policies, calling a Stratford workers’ compensation attorney may help to get them answered. The Morizio Law Firm is ready and willing to try and assist you. Contact our office today for a free consultation.