August 18, 2022

Heat Illnesses and Workers Compensation 

Photograph of a man in the heat, sweating and rubbing his brow.
Exhausted construction worker

Experiencing a heat illness is not only dangerous and sometimes deadly, but it can result in lost time at work, costly medical bills, and stress on the individual and their families. Filing a workers' comp claim for a heat injury or illness may be an option to supplement lost wages and help cover medical costs. Workers comp provides benefits to workers who become injured or ill on the job or as a result of the job. 

During seasons with high temperatures and humidity, there is an increased risk of experiencing heat illnesses. In addition to outdoor temperatures, working indoors without a proper cooling process (such as air conditioning) also puts workers at risk. Heat illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke, are serious and are considered medical emergencies. This article discusses what a heat illness is, what can cause it, and how workers' compensation may be an option should you experience a heat illness due to your job. 

What are Heat Illnesses & What can Cause them?

Infographic detailing how to avoid heat stroke: Wear light colored clothing, wear sunscreen, wear eye protection, drink plenty of fluids, avoid alcohol, take a cool shower, eat light foods, limit total outdoor time.

A heat illness occurs when the body's core temperature rises to dangerous levels due to the body being unable to handle a specific heat load, resulting in a serious medical condition. Heat illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat syncope, and heat stroke. In some severe cases, sunburn and heat rash are also considered emergencies. Some symptoms of these heat illnesses include headache, nausea, confusion, fainting, blisters on the skin, and weakness. Causes of heat illness vary, but some causes include exposure to high temperatures (particularly when combined with high humidity) or direct sunlight for prolonged periods, strenuous or labor-intensive physical activity, and working in conditions that have not been designed to address potential heat illness risk factors.

Can I get Workers Comp for a heat illness on the job?

Yes, you may be able to get workers' compensation for heat illness on the job. 

If you experience a work-related heat illness, you may be able to receive workers' compensation through workers comp insurance. To qualify, you must submit a claim. Once your claim is submitted, it is reviewed and can either be approved or denied. Working with an experienced workers comp attorney can ensure you receive the benefits you deserve. An employer or insurer may argue your claim is invalid if you have a pre-existing condition. 

Contact Shultz Legal 

Whether you or someone you know has experienced a work-related heat illness, the attorneys at Shultz legal can help ensure you get the worker's comp you're entitled to. Shultz Legal is a five-star law practice representing all personal injury victims in the State of Maryland. Contact us today for a free consultation, or call us at (410) 505-0885.