California is known for constant sunshine and miles of beautiful coastline. If your job requires you to work outside during summer months, California’s constant sunshine can become cruel and unusually too hot to handle. Exposing yourself to extreme heat for hours at a time can lead to various heat-related illnesses. Injuries sustained from occupational heat exposure fall into workers’ compensation. If you, the injured worker, sustains a heat illness in the workplace you’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
What is a Heat Illness?
Heat illnesses include heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Heat Rash is a skin irritation that can develop when you’re exposed to hot, humid temperatures. It develops when pores become blocked and sweat can’t escape.
- Heat Cramps are muscle spasms that result from loss of large amount of salt and water. Cramping can occur in the abdomen, arms and calves.
- Heat Exhaustion involves headaches, nausea and major dehydration.
- Heat Stroke is a severe heat illness and should be treated immediately. Symptoms include confusion, loss of consciousness, and seizures.
What type of occupations demand work in hot environments?
Per OSHA, industry-specific resources are available for outside occupations such as
- oil and gas
- emergency response providers + more
Inside occupations include:
- brick manufacturers
- ceramic manufacturers
- glass manufacturers
- electrical utilities
- commercial kitchens
- chemical plants + more
Does California have specific laws to address heat illness in the workplace?
California has specific laws to address Heat Illness in the workplace. It is Regulation Section 3395. This provides for Heat Illness prevention for outdoor places of employment. This applies to (A) Agriculture; (B) Construction; (C) Landscaping; (D) Oil and Gas extraction; (E) Transportation or delivery of agricultural products, construction materials or other heavy materials (e.g. furniture, lumber, freight, cargo, cabinets, industrial or commercial materials), except for employment that consists of operating an air-conditioned vehicle and does not include loading or unloading.
California Law defines “Heat Illness” as “a serious medical condition resulting from the body’s inability to cope with a particular heat load, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat syncope and heat stroke.”
Where can I obtain legal advice for heat-related injuries in the workplace?
Schedule a free consultation with Raymond J. Navarro of Navarro Law Firm San Diego. Raymond has over 25 years experience in California workers’ compensation claims and has helped injured workers maximize their benefits.