As a construction worker in the state of New Jersey, you're aware that the spring and summer months can bring extremely hot temperatures to the area. When working outside, it's imperative to take a variety of steps to maintain your safety.
Heat stroke is a serious injury that requires immediate first aid and medical attention at a local hospital.
Some of the most common symptoms of heat stroke include:
- Muscle cramps
- Pounding headache
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shallow, rapid breathing
- Behavioral changes, such as staggering or difficultly concentrating
- Dry, hot and red skin
- Vomiting and nausea
If you begin to experience any of these symptoms, don't hesitate to administer first aid. This should include a variety of cooling strategies, such as:
- Fan yourself (or asking a coworker to do so)
- Apply ice to the back, neck and armpits
- Take a cold bath or shower (if available)
Are you at risk of heat stroke?
Anyone can suffer heat stroke, even when temperatures aren't extremely hot. However, some people are more likely to suffer from this ailment, such as:
- Individuals over the age of 50
- Anyone with a history of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, alcoholism, heart disease or lung disease
- Anyone taking diet pills, diuretics, sedatives, antihistamines, stimulants or blood pressure medication
How to prevent heat stroke
There is no surefire way to prevent heat stroke, but there are some basic tips you can follow:
- Take regular breaks in a cool area
- Drink extra fluids, both before and during your shift
- Wear lightweight clothing
- Use sunscreen
- Work when temperatures are coolest, such as early in the morning or evenings
What's the prognosis?
As long as you receive immediate medical treatment, you should make a full recovery. However, keep in mind that you may have increased sensitivity to heat for the next few weeks.
Your medical team may suggest that you take time away from work, to give your body the necessary time to make a full recovery.
If you're unable to make an immediate return to your job, file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. You can collect this money until your doctor gives you clearance to resume activity.
Visit our website for additional guidance on obtaining workers' compensation benefits after a job-related accident or illness.