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Protecting yourself from heat stress at work

In Minnesota, you could claim workers’ compensation for work-related injuries that result from heat stress. Employers are responsible for making sure you’re not becoming ill from the heat. To protect yourself, you should also become informed about the signs of heat-related health problems.

Types of heat stress

Examples of heat stress are heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat rash and heat stroke. Common symptoms of suffering from a heat-related illness include difficulty concentrating, confusion, dizziness, profuse sweating, cessation of sweating and collapse.

Whether or not you are in a category that’s at higher risk of heat-related illness, you could fall dangerously ill from heat stress. Never allow someone to point out your relatively good health and youth as reasons you can keep pushing through your heat stress symptoms. It’s important that you get out of the heat and rest to protect yourself. You could claim workers’ compensation if your employer didn’t let you take precautions and rest.

What to do when you experience heat stress

When you have any of the symptoms of heat stress, you need to sit in a cool, shaded area and drink water. Ideally, you would go inside of an air-conditioned building, but this isn’t always possible.

It takes most employees two to three weeks to adjust to a hot working environment. Being out of work for several days can cause you to lose your resilience to the heat, putting you back to square one. Keep this fact in mind if you ever have to work in a hot environment. Take it easy to allow your body to adjust. Also exercise more caution when the temperature reaches 90 degrees.

Working in the heat is dangerous, so you should know about the risks of heat stress. If you’re an employer, educate your employees about this health concern so that they can catch it before it causes them a serious injury.

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