The danger of heat stroke while working outside

Employees in Kentucky who routinely work outdoors should be aware that they can have a fatal heat stroke working in temperatures that go only as high as the upper 80s. This is according to a study conducted by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In 6 of the 14 cases of deadly heat stroke that were investigated by researchers, the heat stroke occurred when the heat index was lower than 91 degrees Fahrenheit.

The heat index is a calculation of the humidity and heat that measures how both affect the human body. For the calculation, a person is assumed to be in a shaded area and wearing one layer of light clothing. The researchers at OSHA warn that because people may not have adapted to the excessive temperatures, the heat waves in the early part of the summer can be particularly fatal.

When coupled with humidity, extreme heat can be fatal according to a researcher who was not a part of the study. The researcher stated that heat extremes are a public safety concern, and many fatalities caused by heat can be prevented.

A heat stroke is considered a medical emergency. Affected individuals can develop temperatures in the range of 106 to 108 Fahrenheit and experience disorientation and confusion. They can also lose the ability to generate the sweat they need to cool their body. Individuals suffering from a heat stroke will have skin that is red, dry and hot; they should use misting fans and ice baths to try to reduce their body's core temperature.

A personal injury law attorney may assist workers who have sustained injuries, such as a heat stroke, due to unsafe working conditions. Assistance may be provided when filing for workers' compensation claims as well as appealing denied claims or insufficient settlement awards.

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