Oklahoma workers may face dangers related to working in hot weather even as the calendar transitions to fall. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 37 work-related deaths around the country in 2015 related to heat exposure on the job. Of those deaths, 33 occurred between June and September. In addition, there were 2,830 nonfatal injuries and illnesses related to heat exposure.
To reduce the odds of a worker getting hurt or killed in the heat, companies should allow them to take breaks every 15 minutes to drink water. Workers should also be given shady areas where they can rest if they get too hot. Employees themselves can reduce the odds of someone getting hurt because of hot weather by looking out for their colleagues. These tips are all part of OSHA’s Water. Rest. Shade. campaign.
Workers who are hurt while on the job may wish to apply for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits may help a worker pay medical expenses related to the injury or illness. The family members of those who are killed may wish to file for workers’ compensation death benefits on behalf of the deceased person.
The receipt of workers’ compensation benefits will generally preclude the filing of a separate lawsuit against the employer. However, if the injury or death was the result of gross negligence or recklessness on the part of the employer, an attorney might in some cases that the worker or survivors should forego the filing of a claim and instead proceed with a civil lawsuit.