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Rising temperatures can equal an increase in workplace illness

When the calendar turns from April to May in California, temperatures start to increase. This brings with it an increase in outdoor activities such as going to ball games, the beach and other enjoyable outdoor events. Unfortunately, increased temperatures can also bring increased risks of workplace illness or injury to people on the job.

According to NASA and NOAA, 2016 was the warmest year on record. Health risks from intense heat are not just a threat to those who work in the outdoors. People who work in manufacturing may also experience adverse effects from increased heat in the shop environment. The shop environment may be impacted by the weather but can also be impacted by heat generated from machines.

Companies can help to protect their employees from heat-related illnesses and injuries by implementing an IIPP -- an Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Features of such a program may include portable evaporative coolers that are particularly useful where increased air conditioning is not available. An option for outside workers is an app that was developed by OSHA and NIOSH (National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health) called the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool. The app calculates the heat index and alerts employees, enabling them to take the necessary precautions.

Regardless of any precautions that are taken, a workplace illness or injury may still occur. If a person falls victim to such an injury or illness in California, he or she may benefit from a confidential conversation with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. A knowledgeable attorney may be able to help the person ascertain whether or not he or she has a legitimate claim and can help to guide the individual through this sometimes complex process. Any successfully litigated claims may help a client to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other documented losses.

Source: manufacturing.net, "Developing An Injury And Illness Prevention Program For Heat-Related Risks", Terry Derise, May 8, 2018

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