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Excess Heat in the Workplace Can Lead to Heat Stroke

 Posted on January 31, 2024 in Workers' Compensation

Austin, TX workplace injuries lawyerWorking in hot conditions, such as an oil refinery, can expose you to extreme heat regularly. If proper precautions are not taken, the risk of heat stroke rises dramatically. If you do experience a heat stroke at work because of the negligence of your employer, a Texas personal injury lawyer may be able to bring a case against your employer.

Taking Preventative Measures

Employers have a responsibility to protect their workers from heat stroke by implementing preventative measures. These may include:

  • Providing cool, air-conditioned break areas: Give employees a place to get relief from the heat during shift changes or lunch breaks. This space should have seating, cold water, and airflow.

  • Enforcing hydration and rest breaks: Make sure staff stays hydrated by drinking enough water. Also, mandate regular cool-down breaks in shaded areas.

  • Providing proper safety gear: Supply workers with cooling vests, cold packs, vented hard hats, and lightweight, breathable uniforms.

  • Training staff: Educate both managers and refinery workers on recognizing heat stroke, applying first aid, and following safety protocols in extreme heat.

By taking preventative action and following safety plans, refineries can drastically reduce instances of heat stroke and save lives. However, it is not uncommon for employers to not take these protective measures.

Pursuing Fair Compensation

Medical expenses may be covered in any settlement, including any hospital bills, medications, surgeries, therapies, at-home care, and other treatments required for recovery. This also includes compensation for permanent disabilities that reduce quality of life. The settlement may also provide repayment for lost income, including wages lost during recovery and potential future earnings if the injury prevents the employee from returning to work. Lost income compensation can also apply to family members providing ongoing care

While no dollar amount can erase emotional pain and suffering, it can provide financial stability for you and the grieving family members affected. If injuries reduce companionship between spouses, damages for loss of consortium may come into play. Finally, if the evidence clearly shows gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing by the refinery, the victim can pursue punitive damages to punish and deter future safety violations

How Non-Workers’ Compensation Subscriber Employers Can Remain on the Hook

While most employers carry workers’ compensation insurance, some do not. Under Texas law, non-subscribers to workers’ compensation forfeit certain legal protections. If an employee gets injured or killed on the job because of negligence, these companies open themselves up to significant liability. Victims of heat stroke and its dangerous consequences may be able to seek damages in civil lawsuits

You and your family may retain full rights to sue the company for high temperature working conditions. Because there are no payout caps, a case against a non-compliant company could result in immense compensation for medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Contact a San Antonio, TX Personal Injury Attorney

With evidence of negligence resulting in the injury or death of a refinery worker from heat stroke, families may be entitled to damages. An Austin, TX personal injury lawyer can help you determine the potential of your case. Call Alford & Associates at 210-951-9467 for a free consultation.

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