Construction workers in Oklahoma face a variety of hazards every day. However, with the arrival of summer, the chances of workplace injuries and illness are significantly increased. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes strict regulations to protect employees from heat-related illnesses, not all employers comply. For that reason, workers should know their rights and become familiar with OSHA regulations.
Every year sees thousands of workers suffering from heat-related illnesses, and some even lose their lives. These situations are preventable, and workers are entitled to protection. Employees who work outdoors in the sun can make sure they work in pairs. Such a buddy system will allow them to watch each other for telltale signs of heat illness. If caught early, only shade and fresh water is necessary to prevent the development of more severe conditions like heat stroke.
Workers must be allowed to take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas. They must also have access to fresh water to keep them hydrated. Loose clothing and other protective gear such as a hat and sunglasses can also provide protection. Some employers allow workers to start earlier in the morning to avoid working during the warmest time of the day.
Oklahoma workers who incurred medical expenses and lost wages after suffering workplace injuries or heat-related illnesses might be eligible for workers' compensation insurance benefits. If such injuries are reported to supervisors as soon as possible, the claims process can be set in motion. Some employees choose to utilize the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to navigate the claims processes for them.