SC Workers’ Compensation Claims: It’s Hot out There

Heat Related SC Workers’ Compensation Claims

sc workers' compensation claimsIt’s no secret that the heat and humidity are a problem in South Carolina.  If you work outside, you are at risk of heatstroke and other related injuries, which leads to the discussion of SC Workers’ Compensation Claims.  Not surprisingly, OSHA has launched a campaign to remind employers and employees about the dangers of heat and heatstroke that features three simple words: Water. Rest. Shade.

Every year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration launches a summer campaign targeted at outdoor workers and their employers, to help maintain worker safety, prevent dehydration, heatstroke, long-term health problems, and death.

The campaign is in its 4th year educating employers and employees about worker safety in hot temperatures. Workers in agriculture, construction, transportation, and landscaping are at the highest risk of dehydration and heatstroke injuries.

“Heat-related illnesses can be fatal, and employers are responsible for keeping workers safe,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said. “Employers can take a few easy steps to save lives, including scheduling frequent water breaks, providing shade and allowing ample time to rest.”

Every year during the summer, thousands of employees become sick because of strenuous jobs combined with heatstroke. Many of those workers die: in 2012, there were 31 workplace deaths from heatstroke, and 4,120 heat-related illnesses on the job.

“Acclimatization is a physical change that the body undergoes to build tolerance to heat, and it is a critical part of preventing heat illnesses and fatalities,” OSHA Administrator Dr. David Michaels said. “Over the past three years, lack of acclimatization was the cause in 74 percent of heat-related citations issued. Employers have a responsibility to provide workplaces that are safe from recognized hazards, including outdoor heat.”

OSHA issued 11 heat-related hazard citations to employers.

“Too many people have suffered injury, illness and death as a result of the heat,” said Zachary Barnett with OSHA. “That’s why we initiate the campaign and try to initiate as early as possible here in Phoenix because we get some of the hottest weather in the country.”

“Employers have a responsibility to provide workplaces that are safe from recognized hazards, including outdoor heat,” said Barnett.

OSHA emphasizes that employers should attend to the following:

  • Provide workers with water, rest, and shade;
  • Gradually increase workloads, and allow more frequent breaks for new workers or those who have been away for a week or more so they can acclimate to the job’s working conditions;
  • Modifying work schedules as necessary;
  • Plan for emergencies;
  • Train workers about the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and how to prevent them; and
  • Monitor workers for signs of illness (headache, dizziness, thirst, nausea, weakness, wet skin, confusion, not sweating, collapse). That means managers or overseers need to have specific heatstroke-related health and safety training.

The Strom Law Firm Prosecutes OSHA Violations on Behalf of South Carolina’s Workers

Heat related injuries can give rise to a SC workers’ compensation claim. The Strom Law Firm represents injured workers and their families in workplace injury lawsuits.

  • Were you hurt or injured on a construction or job site?
  • Did a ladder, scaffolding, or a falling object hurt you at work?
  • Has an on-the-job car wreck or unsafe work environment forced you out of work or left you disabled?
  • Were you injured by faulty or defective machinery or equipment on the job?
  • Was your injury caused by an OSHA, building code or workplace safety code violation?
  • Were you in a burn accident on the job?
  • Are you worried about being fired for filing a workers comp claim?

We proudly seek justice on behalf of employees injured or killed on the job who work for private companies, as well as employees working for local, county, city, and state government.

If you or a loved one are the victim of a workplace accident that has led to serious personal injury or death, whether the accident was caused by OSHA violations or another source, the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today for help. 803.252.4800