Recovering Compensation for Construction Heat Exhaustion Injuries

Construction work often requires long hours under the intense sun, especially during the hot summer months. While the job may demand physical endurance and stamina, it is crucial to be aware of the dangers of heat exhaustion and heat-related illnesses. While avoiding all dangers on a construction site is challenging, our New York and New Jersey construction accident attorneys at Hofmann & Schweitzer can help you understand the risks of construction heat exhaustion, your rights, and what to do if you become ill due to the heat while working your job.

Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses

Recognizing the signs of heat-related illnesses can be life-saving. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and include:

  • Heat cramps. Muscle spasms may result from loss of salt and water through sweat. Heat cramps usually occur in the abdomen, arms, or legs.
  • Heat rash. Excessive sweating can irritate your skin. A heat rash appears as red clusters of pimples or small blisters, typically in areas where the skin folds.
  • Heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion can occur after exposure to high temperatures and is often accompanied by dehydration. It is a severe condition that arises when your body overheats and cannot cool down properly, leading to heavy sweating, rapid pulse, dizziness, and fatigue. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, a life-threatening condition.
  • Heat stroke. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), this medical emergency is the most severe heat-related illness. Heat stroke is characterized by a high body temperature (above 103°F), hot and red skin, a rapid, strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. Immediate medical attention is critical if you suspect heat stroke.

Your Rights in New York if You Suffer a Heat-Related Injury

New York currently does not have any specific heat safety standards in place to protect workers. But, under New York Code 12 CRR-NY 23-1.5, all construction, demolition, and excavation sites must be built, equipped, and operated to ensure the safety and health of workers and others in the area. Employers, owners, contractors, and their agents must provide safe working conditions and protective equipment and follow safety procedures as required by law. No employer should allow employees to work under unsafe conditions or perform prohibited tasks.

How Employers Can Prevent Heat Injuries

Recognizing the dangers of heat exposure and implementing proper safety protocols can protect workers from the debilitating effects of heat-related injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a Heat Illness Prevention campaign to educate employers and workers on heat hazards and how to stay safe. Some tips offered by OSHA for preventing heat illnesses at work include having employers encourage you to:

  • Drink plenty of cool water to stay hydrated, even if you are not thirsty
  • Take rest breaks in the shade or cooler locations
  • Wear clothing that protects you from the sun and heat, such as a protective hat, clothing that is light in color and made from a breathable fabric
  • Monitor yourself and others for signs of heat exhaustion or other heat-related illnesses and seek help at the first sign of a problem

How a Hofmann & Schweitzer Construction Attorney Can Help

You could be compensated for your injury or illness if you suffer heat exhaustion or another heat-related illness. Consulting our experienced construction accident law firm can help you understand your legal options and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

When you hire a New York construction injury lawyer at Hofmann & Schweitzer, we will do the following:

  • Evaluate the circumstances of your construction heat exhaustion injury to determine the best course of action, such as filing for workers’ compensation or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit
  • Represent you in legal proceedings if you pursue a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages such as medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and disability costs
  • Negotiate with insurance companies and employers to secure fair compensation for your injuries

Our attorneys have decades of experience investigating construction accident injuries and helping injured construction workers in New York and New Jersey. Read our testimonials to learn more about how we handled claims for our construction accident clients and the level of care we bring to all of our cases.

Timothy F. Schweitzer
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Personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.