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If you work outdoors, beware of heat injuries

For workers who labor outside during the dog days of summer, the days are less like a vacation and more like a grueling marathon that must be endured. In fact, beyond the fact that the heat can be uncomfortable, there are actually many risks that must be considered when working outside in the elements during the month of August. 

Risks to be aware of

There are many risks that must be considered while working outside, particularly during the month of August. Common risks to consider include:

  • Heat Stroke -- Those who work outside are at an increased risk for developing heat stroke, which is a dangerous condition that results from excessive exposure to heat or humidity. According to an article published on Accuweather.com, about 658 people die from heat stroke each year. Heat stroke occurs when an individual's body temperature reaches 105 degrees or higher.
  • Sunburn -- Excessive exposure to the sun also can damage a person's skin. Sunburn is a condition that occurs from overexposure to the sun, and can result in a painful burning sensation that lasts for several days, and may result in skin cancer.
  • Dehydration -- Working long hours in the heat and in the sun causes people to sweat significantly, which depletes the body's supply of water. Individuals who are not drinking enough water during their shift are at risk of becoming dehydrated. The first symptom of dehydration is usually thirst or dry mouth. Dehydration needs to be treated promptly, as it can lead to further complications or even death.

Tips for protecting yourself

If you are working outside in Denver during the summer season, it's important to take extra precautions to protect yourself. Work with your employer to make sure that all risks of working outdoors have been minimized as much as possible. Some tips to consider include:

  • Obviously, prevention starts with drinking water often throughout your shift. This prevents you from becoming dehydrated, and also can prevent the onset of heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
  • Take short, frequent breaks throughout the day. Instead of taking a long lunch hour in the middle of the day, opt for shorter breaks once every hour or two. 
  • Wear lightweight clothing that wicks away moisture. This will help keep your body temperature down so that you do not overheat while you are working.
  • Wear sunscreen, and apply it multiple times per day. Always start your day off with sunscreen, and make sure to re-apply it every couple of hours to prevent sunburn.

What to do if you suffer a heat-related injury

Whether you are working as a construction worker on the roads in Denver or you are a landscaper who spends your days manicuring lawns, it's important that you stay safe while you are working at all times. Working outside poses its own unique set of risks, and there is a chance that you may be injured or become ill while on the job. If you believe that your injury or illness is the result of working conditions, you may be eligible for worker's compensation. To ensure that you receive the claim that you deserve, you need to work with an experienced worker's compensation attorney in Denver. A lawyer who specializes in worker's compensation law and personal injury law in Colorado can help you collect the evidence necessary to prove your case and receive the compensation that you deserve in the aftermath of your injury or illness. Your worker's compensation claim should cover not only your medical expenses but also your lost wages.

Workers who face prolonged sun exposure or who must work long hours in the heat and humidity should take extra precautions to stay safe and healthy while at work. In addition, they should expect their employers to make accommodations to protect them from these work-related risks. To learn more about worker's compensation law and to find out if you are eligible for a worker's compensation claim in Denver, contact our experienced team of attorneys today.

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