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Category Archives: Construction Accidents

Differences Between Safety Helmets and Hard Hats

Traditionally, hard hats were allocated to construction sites to protect workers from falling objects and to protect themselves in other potential construction accidents. Safety helmets were used by bicyclists, motorcyclists, and in other sports. The lines became blurred as safety technologies advanced and newer models were replaced. Nowadays, old-fashioned hard hats are articles of the past.

The Hard Hat Makeover

The evolution of the hard hat began a century ago when shipbuilders wanted to protect their heads from falling objects. The first stage was shipbuilders covering their regular hats with tar. In later years, protective hats were made from steamed canvas, aluminum, steel, leather, plastic, and fiberglass. Today, the most common element used is polyethylene. Some hard hats come with visors, lights, face shields, radios, and ventilation. The next stage was evolving standard construction safety helmets.

Modern Safety Helmets

Helmets are generally used to protect someone’s head when operating objects such as bikes, ATVs, and skateboards. They are also worn by outdoor sports aficionados and rescue workers. Outdoor enthusiasts normally attach helmets closer to their head with chin straps; these helmets typically do not have brims. Newer features of safety helmets may include Hi Viz materials, ear protection, and attachable visors.

Construction hard hats have remained the same over the past 40 years, but Bloomberg BNA claims that this is changing. Bloomberg BNA recently posted designs of helmets for construction workers. These helmets were originally designed for mountain climbing and other outdoor sports. The main reason for this is so that helmets have better side impact protection and do not fall off during impact. The safety director of Skanska USA Commercial Development, explained that a hard hat may fall off when a worker falls and jerks their head.

Head Protection Categories

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) classifies head protection into different classes and types. These classifications also coincide with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). OSHA also requires that employers provide head safety gear that meets or exceeds industry standards. Each class indicates protection from an electrical accident and each type indicates the protection level from an impact. The following are three different classes provided by OSHA:

  • Class C or Conductive: No protection from electricity.
  • Class G or General: Provides protection up to 2,200 volts.
  • Class E or Electrical: Provides protection up to 20,000 volts.

The following are two types of helmets that are classified by the OSHA:

  • ANSI Type I Helmets: These helmets reduce the force of impact to the top of the head.
  • ANSI Type II Helmets: These helmets reduce the force of impact to the side or top of the head.

Pros and Cons of Construction Helmets

Understandably, modern construction helmets have pros and cons. The helmets provide security from side impacts with a lifespan up to 10 years; helmets are also more stable with chin straps. However, they can be costly, prices range from 100 dollars to 150 dollars each. In contrast, hard hats average around 15 dollars with some models feeling too heavy on the head. Another barrier is a worker’s preference. Hard hats have a long association with construction workers and many workers may not want to change the traditional appearance and feel of standard hard hats.

Wilmington Work Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Support Construction Accident Sufferers

If you were injured in a construction accident while at work, you may be eligible for compensation. Our devoted Wilmington work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow support workers who have suffered injuries from a construction accident. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation about your case. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, we also represent clients in Elsmere and Seaford, Delaware.

What is Silica Dust Compensation?

Bear DE workers’ compensation lawyers advocate for workers exposed to silica dust.Silica is a common, naturally occurring material found in sand, granite, and soil, and is used in a variety of building materials, such as glass, concrete, and masonry. As substances containing silica are chipped or chiseled away, small particles of silica dust are released into the air. In recent decades, we have learned people who inhale silica dust are at a significant risk of respiratory problems and chronic lung diseases, including silicosis and lung cancer.

Workers in construction and other building trades are especially vulnerable to silica-related health problems because of their prolonged exposure to this substance. Many seek compensation for the serious and preventable health conditions that impact their quality of life.

Federal Safety Guidelines to Prevent Silica Exposure

Because we now understand the risks to workers exposed to silica dust in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, mining, and other industries, the federal government has strict safety standards in place to protect workers. In addition to limits on the acceptable silica dust levels in the workplace, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to:

  • Use and maintain dust control systems
  • Require workers to wear washable or disposable protective clothing
  • Require workers to shower and change before leaving the job site
  • Require workers to use respirators in toxic environments
  • Post information and train workers on the risks of silica dust exposure

Employers who fail to adhere to OSHA’s safety requirements may be liable in a claim for silica exposure damages.

Liability and Silica Dust Health Problems

Workers suffering from silicosis or other chronic illnesses caused by silica exposure generally have three options to seek compensation for the medical expenses incurred as a result of their loss of income when they are physically unable to work.

  • Workers’ Compensation claim: Workers’ Compensation benefits cover medical bills and lost wages
  • Civil lawsuit: If the disease can be traced back to the manufacturer of a silica-based product
  • Class action claim: When a group of people are exposed to silica dust

If you have been exposed to silica dust and have concerns about the risk for disease or have already been diagnosed with health conditions caused by toxic exposure, it is time to contact an experienced attorney. A Bear DE Workers’ Compensation lawyer reviews your situation, explains your legal options, and helps you take the first step to recover compensation for your preventable condition.

Bear DE Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Advocate for Workers Exposed to Silica Dust

While silica is an important resource used in ways that benefit our everyday lives, workers who are not protected from inhaling its dust have a significant risk of contracting serious, incurable diseases. If your employer failed to protect you from silica exposure, the Bear DE Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow assist with the financial impact a serious illness can cause. Call us at 302-834-8484 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, Delaware, we proudly represent workers throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.

What are the Causes of Welding Accidents?

Wilmington work accident lawyers assist workers injured in welding accidents.Any worker who handles metal parts, works in extreme heat, or uses electricity places themselves at a higher risk for a workplace injury. Those working in the welding profession perform all three of those tasks daily. By understanding the most common causes of welding accidents, welders can take the necessary steps to protect themselves from serious workplace injuries.

Electrical Shock

One of the most common causes of welding accidents is electrical shock. When metal pieces containing electrical voltage touch, their electrical circuit can cause primary or secondary voltage shock. Without proper grounding, these shocks can enter a welder’s body. Electrical shock can result in first and second-degree burns. Using proper grounding equipment and following safe work practices can prevent electrical accidents.

Toxic Exposure

The welding process often produces toxic fumes that can be dangerous to workers who breathe these dangerous gases into their lungs daily. Welding fumes can contain harmful chemical byproducts, including lead, manganese, aluminum, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and arsenic. Toxic exposure to metal oxide compounds can lead to the development of respiratory illnesses and lung cancer. To avoid injuries caused by toxic exposure, welders should work in ventilated areas with properly maintained equipment.

Welder’s Flash

Also called arc eye, welder’s flash occurs when a welder is exposed to a bright flash of ultraviolet light coming from a welding torch. Welder’s flash typically causes inflammation of the cornea and can lead to light insensitivity, blurred vision, infection, and even loss of eyesight. Workers can protect themselves from flash burn by wearing coated safety googles, a welder’s mask, or specially designed sunglasses.

Hearing Loss

Noise pollution is another potential cause of welding-related injuries. The average welding working environment produces over 85 decibels of noise. Without proper ear protection, welders risk significant hearing loss or damage to the ear canal.

High Temperatures

High temperatures produced by the welding arc can contribute to dangerous working conditions. Welders face significant burn risks from fire given the necessary high temperatures and amount of chemicals involved in the welding process. Molten metal and hot slags also present significant burn risks. Hot sparks and flying metal pieces can present an additional safety risk for workers. Debris landing in a welder’s eye or penetrating the ear canal can cause irreparable damage affecting the welder’s vision or hearing for the rest of their lives.

Compensation for Injured Workers

Welding accidents can result in serious injuries requiring years of medical treatment and result in an ability to return to work. Significant medical expenses and lost wages can place great financial stress on families caring for an injured worker. Employers who fail to provide a safe working environment for their workers may face liability when a workplace injury takes place. The first step in determining whether compensation may be available for a workplace injury is to contact an experienced Wilmington work accident lawyer to discuss your case.

Wilmington Work Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Assist Workers Injured in Welding Accidents

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a welding accident, the experienced Wilmington work accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you receive the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Our offices are conveniently located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware to serve work accidents victims throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 302-427-9500 or submit an online inquiry form.

What are the Most Common Workplace Injuries?

Wilmington work injury lawyers fight for maximum benefits for common workplace injuries. Workers’ Compensation benefits provide compensation for lost wages and medical expenses when a work injury requires medical attention and lost time from work to recover. Although injuries vary according to each industry, there are several common accidents that occur in all types of work environments. The most common workplace accidents include:

  • Slip and Falls: Uneven or slippery work surfaces, torn carpets, poor lighting, broken handrails, and debris left in traffic areas can all lead to slip and falls. Serious injuries can result when a person slips and hits their head, falls from an elevated surface, or trips into a sharp object.
  • Struck-By Objects and Caught In/Between Accidents: Construction workers, farmers, fishing boat workers, and manufacturing workers have a high risk for this type of accident. Heavy equipment that moves steel beams or heavy objects can strike workers and cause catastrophic injuries. Workers in all types of industries can become wedged between heavy objects and suffer crushing injuries that can result in permanent disability or death.
  • Chemical, Electrical, and Burn Accidents: These types of accidents cause the most dangerous and painful injuries of all accidents combined. Electrocution most often results in instant death while burn injuries related to chemical and fire accidents cause permanent disfigurement and require long, painful recoveries.
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents in the workplace most commonly happen in construction work zones, on farms, and on interstates and highways when sales personnel travel to appointments. Car and truck accidents can cause serious and often fatal injuries and leave survivors with permanent disability.

Common Workplace Injuries

The most common injuries related to workplace accidents include:

  • Brain injuries
  • Back and spinal injuries
  • Burns
  • Torn and sprained muscles, tendons, and ligaments
  • Severe cuts and lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Nerve damage
  • Degenerative joint injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Hearing loss
  • Amputations
  • Electrocution
  • Repetitive Stress Injuries

What to Do If You are Injured at Work

Accidents in the workplace will happen despite our best safety efforts. It is important to follow the protocols for reporting your injuries and filing for Workers’ Compensation benefits if you are injured at work. These include to:

  • Seek medical help immediately
  • Inform the immediate supervisor or manager of the accident
  • Document all medical procedures, office visits, and emergency or hospital visits
  • Keep records of all prescription medications and therapies required for recovery
  • File for Workers’ Compensation benefits as soon as possible
  • Consult with an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer

In some cases, Workers’ Compensation benefits are denied, but this does not mean benefits are not available. An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can appeal the denial and claim the compensation you deserve.

Wilmington Work Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Advocate for Workplace Safety

If you have suffered a workplace injury or illness, call the Wilmington work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. We will fight to obtain the benefits you deserve. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Seaford and Elsmere.

What is a Crush Injury on a Construction Site?

Wilmington Work Injury Lawyers discuss crush injuries on a construction site.Employees are susceptible to a variety of injuries each day. One type of injury, called a crush injury, often leads to severe complications, including death. Due to the nature of this type of injury, victims often need a long recovery period that often leads to expenses, including hospital bills and lost wages. 

What are Crush Injuries?

Crush injuries occur when an individual is pinned between two items. Ultimately, these incidents can lead to fatalities, nerve damage, internal bleeding, amputations, and other severe injuries.

Crush injury complications include:

  • Spinal damage, including paralysis
  • Tissue damage from blood flow disruption
  • High risk of infection in damaged areas
  • Severe brain injuries or internal bleeding
  • Risk of Compartment Syndrome, which may lead to the death of important muscles and tissues
  • Risk of Crush Syndrome, which often leads to organ shock and renal failure

Common Crush Injuries

Employees can obtain crush injuries whenever they are crushed between two items. However, there are a few common ways to obtain crush injuries. An employee may experience a crush injury from falling objects. For instance, if a construction worker is working in an unstable building, the ceilings, walls, or other objects may collapse and cause a crush injury.

An individual may also obtain a crush injury from being run over. Employees may experience this from a large piece of machinery, such as a forklift. The equipment used in construction settings are often extremely heavy. Therefore, severe injuries and fatalities may occur. Trench collapses can also cause injuries. Trenches are built by employees working on the inside. When trenches collapse, it often leads to fatalities.

Motor vehicle accidents may also lead to crush injuries. Professional drivers spend a lot of their time on the road. When an accident occurs, it may cause a crush injury. Mechanics may also obtain crush injuries if a vehicle falls on them due to a faulty jack stand.

Obtaining Workers’ Compensation for Crush Injuries

Due to the nature of crush injuries, employees may be unable to work. This can lead to financial difficulties for victims and their families. Therefore, it is important for injured employees to consult a Workers’ Compensation lawyer. This will help families secure funds for medical bills and lost wages. Similarly, if an injury was caused by an external party, it is possible that the victim can file a third-party personal injury claim. This would be applicable to parties, including construction site managers, vendors, and contractors. This option may be used if a party’s negligence led to the injury.

Wilmington Work Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Advocate for Injured Employees

If you or a loved one obtained an injury at work, please consider contacting a Wilmington work injury lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. Our lawyers work closely with clients to fight for entitled compensation. If you are interested in speaking to one of our lawyers, contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation. With offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.

Gas Company Worker Falls Victim to Violence in Wilmington

Gas Company Worker Falls Victim to Violence in Wilmington

A gas company worker has died as the result of a shooting that happened in Wilmington on Monday afternoon. Two contractors from Delmarva Power and Light Company were working on a gas main when they were shot. Each gas company worker was taken to area hospitals, where one remains but is now listed in stable condition. The second victim succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.

Workers who spend their days outside or at a work site may be in greater danger of becoming victims of violence. While hazardous conditions may exist at any workplace and in any industry, recent reports of workplace violence mean that the danger of being hurt on the job due to physical assault or worse is a very real concern. This is especially true when steps are not taken to ensure adequate security for workers in areas where crime is more likely to occur.

If you or someone you love was injured at work as a result of violence, contact the Wilmington work accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow by calling 302-427-9500 or contact us online. We represent clients throughout Delaware, including those in Wilmington, Hockessin, Newark, Glasgow, Bear, Middletown, Smyrna, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Georgetown, Elsmere, and Seaford, as well as in communities in New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County from our offices located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware.

Construction Accident Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Milford Wrongful Death Lawyers discuss wrongful death lawsuits following a construction accident. Working in the construction industry presents significant risks to its workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that over 18 percent of all workplace deaths in this country happen to construction employees.

In situations involving fatal construction accidents that were caused by another’s negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

In most cases, wrongful death suits are initiated on the behalf of any surviving family members, or any other parties affected emotionally and/or financially by the loss. The cases are brought against defendants that have contributed to or caused a person’s death though intentional harm or negligence.

These lawsuits can be undertaken by surviving spouses, parents of minor children, and minors that lose their parents.

If the surviving person is an adult child, sibling, other close relative, or life partner, suing for a wrongful death can become more complicated. Laws vary by state, but it must be shown that the survivor was at least in part financially dependent on the victim.

Types of Wrongful Death Cases

There are many kinds of personal injury cases that can become wrongful death claims. If the victim is killed on purpose, as in a murder, this would be an intentional act. Other examples include car accident deaths caused by negligent drivers, and medical malpractice suits.

OSHA points out that construction site fatalities commonly fall into certain categories. Electrocutions caused by power surges can occur if the work is not properly grounded and managed. Collapsed buildings can be deadly to workers; they can be crushed or fatally injured by falling or flying debris. Falls from rooftops, ladders, scaffolding, and high elevations also contribute to wrongful deaths.

Work-related construction accidents and injuries that lead to death may be required to go through the company’s Workers’ Compensation insurance; this may impact the amount of damages received. These regulations vary by state.

Proving Negligence

To prove liability in a construction accident wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff has to show that the defendant was responsible for the victim’s safety, but was negligent in this respect. The defendant also must show that this negligence directly caused the victim’s death, which caused the damages they need to recoup.

Damages for the Survivors

There are two main areas for damages:

  • Monetary: Money to pay for medical costs that were incurred due to the injury before death, funeral costs, and burial costs are probably the most immediate concern. Losing the victim’s future income and any inheritance can also be devastating, and potentially compensable as such.
  • Non-economic pain/suffering: Pain and suffering endured by the deceased and their survivors can qualify for a survival claim. This would be based on a loss of love and guidance, companionship and nurturing that the victim would have provided in the future. It could also include mental anguish, emotional stress, a diminished quality of life, and physical pain.

Milford Wrongful Death Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help with Wrongful Death Lawsuits After Construction Accidents

Losing a loved one is traumatic, and is only made worse if it is due to another’s negligence. You need not suffer alone; call a Milford wrongful death lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. We provide compassionate, experienced counsel in personal injury, Workers’ Compensation, and wrongful death cases. Contact us today by filling out an online form or call our offices in Milford at 302-422-6702, Bear at 302-834-8484, or Wilmington at 302-427-9500. We serve clients throughout the state of Delaware, including Elsmere and Seaford.

“Fatal Four” Construction Injuries

Wilmington Work Injury Lawyers discuss fatal accidents and construction injuries. Construction is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that nearly one-quarter of all private sector worker deaths happened in construction.

More than 60 percent of these accidents were caused by the “fatal four” hazards. OSHA estimates that by eliminating these fatal four risks, we could save 631 lives every year.

OSHA’s “Fatal Four” construction accidents are:

Falls: Many construction workers find themselves high off the ground every day on roofs, scaffolds, ladders, and windows. Falls can leave victims with cuts, bruises, broken bones, head, neck and spine injuries, and even death. Personal arrest systems, guardrails, and safety nets are all effective in either preventing falls or protecting construction workers if they should fall.

Being Struck-by Objects: In 2016, 96 construction workers were killed after being struck-by an object. To address this common construction risk, OSHA established regulations to protect workers with canopies, guardrails, and screens designed to contain falling objects or protect workers from being struck-by moving parts and equipment.

Electrocutions: Electrocutions accounted for 8.3 percent of all fatal construction accidents in 2016. Employers are required per OSHA standards to prevent workers from coming in contact with hazards which are known to pose a risk of physical harm or death to workers, including electric shock, electrocution, fires, and explosions.

Caught In/between Accidents: Construction workers can find themselves caught in or between equipment, building materials, and trenches, resulting in broken bones, amputations, and even death. Loose clothing, hair and jewelry can potentially get caught in/between the moving parts of machinery, resulting in catastrophic injuries.

What to Do if You Get Hurt at Work

If you are the victim of an unfortunate work-related accident, you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits, regardless of who is at fault. The purpose of Workers’ Compensation benefits is to help injured workers replace lost income while they are unable to work, and to pay for medical bills incurred after a work accident.

After a work accident, it is important to seek medical help immediately. Even if you do not have apparent injuries, you may still be hurt. Internal injuries are not always obvious to the naked eye.

Notify your employer about your accident right away. Keep all documentation related to your accident and injuries, including photos of the accident scene, witness testimony, and medical reports. This information is useful for your Workers’ Compensation claim.

Wilmington Work Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Fight for Injured Workers in Delaware

The next step is to contact a Wilmington work injury lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow who has extensive experience managing complex Workers’ Compensation claims. We understand the claims process, what is needed to prove a claim, and how to appeal a denied claim if necessary. No one likes to think about getting hurt on the construction site, but the reality is accidents do happen.

Schedule a consultation by calling 302-427-9500 or contact us online to get started today. We have locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford to serve clients throughout Delaware.

Improving Construction Site Safety

Delaware Construction Accident Lawyers discuss the importance of construction site safety.Accidents taking place on construction sites can result in devastating and life changing injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, internal bleeding, broken bones, and even fatality. Of the 4,693 workplace fatalities taking place in 2016, over 20 percent resulted from construction site accidents. Most construction worker fatalities are caused by the fatal four, consisting of falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, and being caught-in or between objects. Using proactive strategies can help reduce the number of construction site fatalities.

Follow Safety and Health Regulations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets forth a wide variety of construction safety standards, including those related to fall protection, scaffolding use, respiratory protection, machinery guarding, control of hazardous energy, ladder use, and the operation of powered industrial trucks. Construction site managers should adhere to OSHA’s safety standards as a way of improving construction site safety.

Set a Safe Example

Construction site safety begins with the example of supervisors and managers who play an integral role in creating a safe workplace. When workers observe senior management focusing on the importance of worker safety through the implementation of safety training and emergency planning steps, it can lead to a culture where safety takes priority. At many construction sites, the day begins with an informal safety talk to provide important information about the safest tools, equipment, materials, or processes to use on that job. These tool box talks have been shown to promote a greater worker understanding of safety expectations and safety discussions on construction sites.

Encourage Safety Reporting

Many workers express hesitancy to report risky construction site issues.  Construction workers should be encouraged to report safety issues, which can help prevent future accidents. Managers should reassure workers that there will be no retaliation for safety reporting.

Provide Proper Safety Materials

Workers should be provided with the proper tools and personal protection equipment before undertaking a construction project. Providing safety gear, such as goggles, hard hats, or proper footwear, should go hand in hand with installing appropriate safety nets or scaffolding for the construction site. Proper zoning to block off dangerous areas and the elimination of hazardous distractions or obstructions are additional ways to improve the safety of every construction site.

Employ Safety Technology

Digital technology can improve both the efficiency and safety of construction sites. Project managers can use unmanned aerial vehicles, such as drones, to assess immediate safety concerns through remote site inspections and safety audits. Safety data from construction sites can be instantaneously shared to workers and onsite supervisors using project management software, smartphones, and tablets. Providing construction workers with wearable digital technology, such as smart watches or augmented reality glasses, can result in instant safety improvements on construction sites.

Digital technology resources can improve medical response times when an accident occurs and trigger alarms to improve emergency procedures in the event of an evacuation or hazardous condition. These digital technological resources include free iOS applications that can be easily installed and used by all types of construction companies.

Delaware Construction Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Advocate for Victims of Construction Accidents

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries at a construction site, the experienced Delaware construction accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you obtain compensation for these injuries. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online. With office locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, we proudly serve clients throughout the state.

Occupational Heat Injuries

Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers warn workers about the risk of occupational heat injuries during the summer months. Every year, thousands of workers become sick from heat stress. In some cases, these injuries can even be fatal. When people become dehydrated, their bodies lose the ability to sweat and cool down. As their core temperature continues to rise, internal body temperature can reach dangerous levels. Although many people associate dehydration with headaches and fatigue, symptoms of severe heat stress can include fainting, seizures, and even death.

Many people assume that heat injuries are related to a person’s failure to stay hydrated. But many heat injuries are caused by severe working conditions. Outdoor operations conducted in hot weather and direct sun, such as construction or landscaping, expose workers to the risk of heat-related illnesses. Additionally, employees who work in bakeries, factories, and chemical plants are often exposed to hot air temperatures indoors.

As the weather continues to warm, more workers will be exposed to both indoor and outdoor high heat conditions If proper precautions are taken, heat-related illnesses can be prevented. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) urges employers to keep employees safe with environmental and scheduling strategies for heat injury prevention.

Employer Heat-Injury Prevention

There are a number of steps that employers can take to help prevent heat injuries. These include implementing engineering controls, monitoring work practices, supplying personal protective equipment, and providing workers with adequate training about heat injury risks.

Employers can reduce worker exposure to high heat situations by cooling the environment and increasing ventilation in the following ways:

  • Installing exhaust fans and air conditioning systems
  • Using reflective heat shields to redirect radiant heat
  • Insulating hot surfaces and pipes
  • Repairing hot air and steam leaks

For those environments that cannot be adequately cooled, workers will need several days of light labor to get acclimated to extreme heat conditions. Other preventative methods include scheduling heavy physical work at the coolest times of the day, and allowing employees to work in labor-rest cycles, with breaktimes spent rehydrating in the shade or some other cooler area.

Signs of Heat Injury

When the body becomes overheated, a heat rash could develop. These tiny clusters of red bumps usually appear on the neck and upper chest. At the first sign of heat rash, it is important to move to a cooler, less humid space and keep the affected area dry.

Muscle cramping is another, more serious symptom of possible heat stress. Those who experience this should stop all activity at once, get to a cooler area, and drink plenty of fluids. If the cramping does not cease after cooling down, it is important to seek medical attention.

Heat injury prevention is not limited to the workplace. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that heat illness is a leading cause of death among high school athletes.

Whether you find yourself on the ball field or in the workplace, recognizing the early signs of heat illness can reduce the chances of heat exhaustion or heat stroke and possibly save a life.

Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Fight for Injured Workers and Their Families

If you or a loved one has been injured at work, the Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help. We will work tirelessly to help you obtain the maximum compensation available for your circumstances. To schedule a free consultation, call our Wilmington office at 302-427-9500, our Bear office at 302-834-8484, or our Milford office at 302-422-6705, or you can contact us online. We represent injured workers throughout Delaware, including those in New Castle County and Sussex County.

Statement Regarding Coronavirus Disease ("Covid-19"):

A Message to Our Clients: We Are Here to Help You.

The situation regarding the COVID-19 virus changes daily. During this uncertain time, we can assure you that the team at Rhoades & Morrow continues to focus on helping our current clients as well as assisting new clients.

We know that legal questions still arise, and we are here to answer your questions and provide the trusted guidance that you have come to expect from us over the years. To ensure the health and safety of our staff and our clients, we are conducting virtual consultations via Zoom and by telephone. We also have the ability to exchange documents via secure e-mail.

We will continue to work to protect the rights of our clients. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online.

We look forward to hearing from you. Stay safe and healthy.