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Working in extreme heat is unsafe

With warmer weather here to stay for the foreseeable future, workers in Rhode Island must take extra caution when working outdoors. For example, if you work in the construction industry, you may find yourself in direct sunlight for a better portion of your day.

Heat stroke has the potential to cause serious injury, such as brain damage, as well as death. Here are some of the most common signs:

  • Dizziness
  • Throbbing headache
  • Shallow breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Hot, dry skin
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Mental confusion and disorientation

If you experience any of these symptoms, take these steps immediately:

  • Move to a cool place and fan air over yourself
  • Wet your skin, such as from a garden hose
  • Take a cool shower or bath, if possible

Depending on your situation, you may need to request the assistance of your coworkers.

Once you administer first aid, it's time to visit a local hospital for evaluation and treatment. Even if you're feeling better, don't assume that it's okay to resume activity. It's important to receive a thorough medical evaluation to ensure that you don't have any underlying injuries, such as those to your internal organs.

Prognosis after heat stroke

Your prognosis is based largely on your injuries. If you escaped without injury, you shouldn't experience too many long-term effects outside of sensitivity to heat over the next few weeks.

However, if you suffered organ damage, for instance, it could impact you for the rest of your life. This is why it's so important to follow the direction of an experienced and knowledgeable medical professional.

How to prevent heat stroke

Rather than risk heat stroke, there are many prevention tips you can follow:

  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing
  • Wear a hat to keep the sun off your face
  • Use sunscreen (even if the sun isn't out)
  • Drink extra fluids, both before work and during
  • Work during cooler hours, when possible

If you suffer heat stroke at work, administer first aid and then visit a local hospital. From there, learn more about your legal rights, as you may be entitled to various forms of compensation.

Don't let anyone tell you that heat stroke isn't a serious injury, as it has the potential to affect you in many ways.

Visit our website for more information on all types of personal injuries, as well as guidance on protecting your legal rights.

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Providence, RI 02903

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