Working outdoors in the summer without taking the proper precautions can lead to heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The following are some tips that workers in Illinois can take to heart the next time they are out in the summer heat.
What to eat and drink
Workers should drink 16 ounces of water before starting a job outside. Every 15 or 20 minutes after that, they should drink 5 to 7 ounces. It must be water, too, as other drinks, especially tea, coffee and caffeinated beverages, will only wind up causing dehydration. As for food, it should be high in fiber but not in protein to prevent dehydration. Workers can opt for fruits and natural juices.
Sunscreen and the proper clothing
When possible, workers should stay out of the sun, taking frequent breaks in a shaded or air-conditioned area. They can wrap a damp rag over their neck and wear sunscreen. Their clothing should be light-colored to absorb less heat. The clothing should not be tight-fitting or lightweight either.
Knowing the symptoms of illness
The excessive loss of water and salt leads to sweating, weakness, dizziness and muscle cramps, which are all signs of heat exhaustion. Heat stroke, caused by the body’s inability to control its temperature, is characterized by a lack of sweating. Workers should be able to detect these illnesses in themselves and co-workers.
Benefits for victims of an occupational illness
You may have incurred an occupational injury or illness. You can go forward with a workers’ compensation case to be covered for your medical expenses, including the cost of treatments and prescriptions, and for lost wages based on whether your condition led to a short- or long-term disability. Employers might deny payment, so it may be wise for you to have a lawyer by your side to assist.