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Workers' compensation claims due to heat injuries

On-the-job injuries due to heat while working outside are not unusual, but many employers fail to consider the risk of injuries due to extreme temperatures indoors. California has recently become the first state in the country to establish a threshold for the protection of indoor workers from heat indexes. The need for the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to protect indoor workers, similarly to outdoor workers, has arisen from changes in weather as well as the development of new careers. Employers should take careful notice of the new guidelines in order to avoid workers' compensation claims.

The ever growing e-commerce industry has led to a situation where workers, enjoying high hourly rates, spend most of their day working in very hot conditions. Often their workplace is a metal container. The extreme heat inside such a container, while doing manual labor, can lead to heat stroke or other heat-related injuries. Other industries where workers may be exposed to very hot conditions are laundries, industrial kitchens and the shipping industry.

Currently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration places a duty on employers to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees. In a 2011 workers' compensation claim filed due to heat illness by a worker, both the staffing agency and warehouse where the claimant worked were fined as they did nothing to address the severe heat. The latest proposed regulations have more stringent requirements that employers must follow.      

California workers are entitled to file a workers' compensation claim if they are hurt or become ill on the job. It makes no difference if they work inside or outside. Injuries related to exposure to extreme temperatures, whether indoors or outdoors, are a reality. An attorney can help an injured worker pursue legal recourse through the workers' compensation system.

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Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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