November 15, 2019
Anyone who has visited or lived in the state of California knows that it is a hot, dry place. Most of the state has a Mediterranean climate, which means super hot summers and mild, rainy winters. Most Californians may not have to deal with shoveling snow or icy road hazards, but one major risk that they do have to deal with is heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (CAL – OSHA) passed a series of laws starting in 2013, designed to protect workers from experiencing heat-related illnesses on the job. The law states that any employee working outside is entitled to a five-minute shaded break once every hour. Outdoor workers can include but is not limited to agricultural workers, theme park workers, landscapers, environmental scientists, forestry professionals, and firefighters. Outdoor employees cannot be asked to perform any work tasks during this cool-down break, and the breaks must be paid. The idea is that not only does this help to ensure worker safety, but it helps to improve worker production as well.
If you or a loved one works outside in the state of California, it is important for you to be aware of and to speak up for your right to a cool-down break. It is also important for you to be able to recognize the signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke is a serious condition that often requires hospitalization. If you experience any of the following symptoms while working outside, get to a cool place and seek medical attention immediately:
- An ongoing, throbbing headache.
- Dizziness / vertigo.
- Lack of sweating despite hot temperatures.
- Nausea / vomiting.
- A rapid heartbeat without performing strenuous work.
- Muscle weakness.
- Rapid, shallow breathing.
- Red, hot, dry skin.
If you are denied a cool down break at work and as a result suffer a heat-related illness. Then call us for representation. We will fight for compensation and for your rights as an outdoor worker. Don’t hesitate. Call us today.