Many workers in Pennsylvania face additional hazards when the temperature rises during summer months. When temperatures are high, elderly workers, professional athletes and anyone who works outdoors can be especially vulnerable to workplace illnesses like heat stroke and heat exhaustion. To prevent these kinds of illnesses, employers must provide their workers with sufficient access to water, rest and shade.
As summer begins, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is warning employers about the dangers of high-temperature work environments. OSHA has launched a heat safety campaign using the hashtag #WaterRestShade to remind employers about what it takes to provide a safe workplace for outdoor workers. Safety measures like these could help to prevent serious injuries and deaths. In 2014, 18 people died on the job from heat stroke and 2,630 workers suffered from heat-related illnesses.
OSHA's heat safety campaign also includes a fact sheet about the dangers of lightning strikes. OSHA says that lightning strikes over 300 people per year, and lightning can be an occupational hazard in outdoor work environments. Once thunder can be heard in an outdoor workplace, OSHA advises workers to go inside and wait there for at least half an hour.
An individual who suffers a heat stroke while on the job might lose part of their weekly income and incur medical expenses. These monetary damages may be claimed in a workers' compensation claim. A lawyer might be able to help a worker who has been injured on the job determine the value of their damages and pursue financial compensation.