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Construction workers face heat emergencies

As we begin moving into another steamy New York summer, it is important that construction workers actively protect themselves from heat-related injuries and serious conditions. A significant part of avoiding harm comes from understanding the challenges you face. Sun exposure and fluid loss can have devastating results - and can even prove fatal under severe conditions.

Construction workers face a dangerous jobsite each and every day. From hazardous materials to scaffolding collapse to falling debris - these workers must be on the lookout for nearly every second of their shift. When weather becomes a factor, though, a difficult job can become impossible.

We sweat when it gets hot - it's part of the body's cooling mechanism. The actual cooling occurs, however, when the sweat evaporates and cools the skin. When the air temperature is the same or higher than the body temperature, unfortunately, the sweat doesn't have the opportunity to evaporate. So, in this scenario, the body keeps sweating, but it is not able to cool itself down. Whether you are working the high steel, or working on the side of the road, you need to be aware of the fact that your body might have lost its capacity to regulate its own temperature.

Other conditions to consider:

  • Heat cramps can cause painful muscle spasms. Typically in the legs and stomach, these spasms can result from the loss of fluids and salt from sweating.
  • Heat exhaustion can feel like fatigue, nausea and a headache. Your skin will likely be cold, pale and clammy to the touch.
  • Heat stroke is a potentially deadly heat emergency. Here, the body's heat regulation system totally breaks down and you stop sweating altogether. Individuals suffering from heat stroke will likely experience mental confusion, have flushed skin and even lapse into unconsciousness.

There are no awards for being tough on a construction site. It is crucial that you are aware of the changes in your body and the difficult weather you are facing. Stay hydrated, take breaks and notify a supervisor if you begin to feel faint in the heat and humidity of a construction site.

Construction injuries can lead to serious medical bills and lost wages. Discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney to learn about your legal options.

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