People who perform outdoor jobs in Arizona and similarly hot climates are at increased risk for heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke. As we at the Matt Fendon Law Group have observed in the past, there are currently no federal guidelines in place delineating employers’ responsibilities to workers at risk for heat exposure. However, with the recent introduction of legislation by a U.S. congressional member, this could change in the future.
In the meantime, however, it is primarily your own responsibility to protect yourself from heatstroke. The Mayo Clinic describes several steps you can take that can help.
1. Stay hydrated
Your body regulates its temperature by sweating. However, when you become dehydrated, your body does not have the resources it needs to produce the necessary perspiration to cool you down. You can prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids.
2. Use sunscreen
Another factor that can have a negative effect on your body’s temperature regulation capability is sunburn. In other words, preventing sunburn can also help you to prevent heatstroke. You should apply sunscreen every two hours, making sure that it has an SPF of at least 15. It may also be helpful to wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.
3. Wear appropriate clothing
When working in hot weather, you should avoid wearing anything that is too tight or consists of too many layers. Choose clothing that is lightweight and loose-fitting instead.
It is also helpful to perform physical labor during the cooler parts of the day and schedule frequent rest breaks in the shade. However, this may not always be an option if your employer is the one setting the schedule. More information about compensation for work-related illnesses is available on our website.