Extreme heat waves bring severe risks to those exposed to high temperatures. While many can remain indoors in air-conditioned office buildings during work shifts, construction workers must handle scorching temperatures. The Department of Labor noticed the risks, issued alerts, and increased rule enforcement. Still, New York construction workers face health hazards during heat waves.
Construction sites and heatwaves
When the Department of Labor issues a heat hazard alert, the agency prompts employers to protect workers from the dangers. Rules and regulations exist to keep workers safe, and employers must comply. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will explore enforcement actions against those employers who do not comply.
Dehydration stands as a common problem persons working in hot conditions face. Dealing with the sun and wearing heavy work apparel may lead to excessive sweating, which can cause dehydration. Workers also risk suffering from heat stroke, which could become life-threatening. Workers with pre-existing conditions might find things worsening. For example, a person with a heart condition could suffer cardiac arrest.
Dangers on construction sites
Heat can affect people differently, and excessive heat may lead some people to make mistakes. Heat-related distractions might result in construction worker accidents derived from someone passing out or suffering from distractions. Equipment or tool-related mishaps may end with a worker suffering burns, lacerations or broken bones.
Employees injured at a construction site may have a claim for workers’ compensation. A properly filed workers’ comp claim might allow someone to receive financial benefits to help them during the recovery period.
Other situations may prompt a lawsuit. Those not covered by workers’ comp might find litigation is their only option. If negligence lead to the accident and harm, a lawsuit could be worth pursuing for compensation and possibly punitive damages.