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Construction workers' accidents: The summer heat

Hot days are ahead for Pennsylvania. For those who work on outdoor construction projects (or even hot indoor ones), the summer heat can lead to construction workers' accidents. If a worker suffers from a heat-related illness while on a scaffold, roof or anywhere actually, it could easily cause a fall or other mishap that leads to serious or fatal injuries.

Taking certain precautions in the heat could eliminate at least one factor that could lead to an accident from the many hazards of working construction. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to take certain steps to prevent heat-related illnesses. Why is this so important?

It is important because when the body gets too hot, it raises an individual's internal body temperature. If that temperature gets too high, it could cause a myriad of physical problems that could be life threatening. People who suffer from heat-related illnesses have trouble concentrating, become irritable and can no longer focus on a task. It is easy to see how this can present a significant safety issue at a construction site full of other hazards. At that point, any affects from the heat could become the least of a worker's problems.

Any Pennsylvania construction worker who begins to notice the signs of a heat-related illness should stop working and seek help immediately. Hopefully, this is the only medical issue that arises from such an illness. In any case, injured or ill workers may receive workers' compensation benefits in the aftermath of construction workers' accidents or illnesses to help with medical costs, lost income and other issues.

Source: osha.gov, "Occupational Heat Exposure", June 18, 2017

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