When the summer months roll around many companies capitalize on the nice weather to make as much money as possible. Companies in the construction, agriculture, landscaping, and shore resorts rely on the sunshine and lack of precipitation to make enough money so they can survive the fall and winter months. However, the employees in these industries are at higher risk of suffering from heatstroke due to various reasons, including overexertion.
The symptoms of heatstroke
The signs and symptoms of heat stroke include the following:
- Altered behavior or mental state
- High body temperature
- Rapid breathing
- Alteration in sweating pattern
- Racing heart rate
- Flushed skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle cramps
If you are suffering from heatstroke, or you believe a co-worker is suffering from heatstroke, it’s vital to seek medical care immediately. Call 911 and move indoors or into the shade. Remove any excess clothing and cool the person’s body temperature by whatever means available. This can include sponging them down with cool water, placing them in a tub of cool water, placing wet towels with cool water on their head, and fanning them using cool water.
Heatstroke caused by overexertion
Overexertion is a common injury suffered by employees in various industries, including those that operate mainly outdoors and in the heat of the summer. This is one reason why there seems to be an increase in workers’ compensation claims filed during the summer months.
Working outdoors is dangerous no matter the temperature. With extended time in the sun and humidity, outdoor workers are at higher risk of developing heatstroke if they do not take the proper precautions to protect themselves.
Performing strenuous activities outside in the summer can easily lead to what’s known as exertional heat stroke. This type of heatstroke occurs when your body temperature reaches 104 degrees of higher due to extended strenuous activity in hot and humid conditions. This often happens when the person working outdoors is not used to working in the heat. That’s why you should gradually get your body used to working outdoors in the summer and not expose it to extreme heat all at once.
Am I at risk for exertional heat stroke?
There are certain groups of people who are more at risk to suffer exertional heat stroke compared to others. These groups include the following:
- People over age 65
- People on certain prescription medications (beta-blockers, diuretics, antidepressants, vasoconstrictors)
- People who have certain health conditions (sedentary, obesity, history of heatstroke, lung disease, heart disease, etc.)
Complications of heat stroke
If not treated immediately, heatstroke can be fatal. Even if treated immediately, heatstroke can lead to damage to your vital organs. When medical care cannot be provided quickly to lower your body temperature, your brain and other vital organs can swell, which often leads to permanent damage to those organs.
Have you suffered heatstroke as a result of overexertion on the job in Mississippi? If so, medical care is not the only way to treat this health condition. You might be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim. Call the office of Merkel & Cocke, P.A. at 662-627-9641, or complete a contact form on our website to schedule a consultation. Our offices are located in Jackson, Clarksdale, and Oxford.