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Staying safe on hot summer work days

The summer months in California are hot, humid and dangerous for workers exposed to the elements. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to keep yourself and your coworkers safe during the summer months.

If you plan to work outside, make sure you follow some of these safety tips. If you stay out too long or get overheated, there is a risk of heat sickness, heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

1. Drink enough water

When you are working outside, water should be easy to access. Your employer should encourage the use of water bottles and other containers on site, and he or she may want to bring a large cooler with drinks for the team. Both water and sports drinks are good for the heat, because they help keep you hydrated and replace minerals you lose through sweat.

2. Take breaks in air conditioning

The sun beating down on you for eight hours is harsh on your body. Help reduce strain by taking breaks in air conditioning. It's a great idea to have an air conditioned vehicle or indoor space on site, so you and others can cool down when you take a break.

3. Stop the progression of heat illness

If you notice someone else is dizzy or that you're feeling weak in the sun, you need to take a break immediately. Your employer should have an emergency plan for workers who feel ill. It's vital that anyone starting to feel sick gets to rest and be in a cool area as soon as possible. Not catching the early stages of heat sickness can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

If you do suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke on the job, workers' compensation should kick in to help you cover your medical bills. If you have a claim denied, your attorney can help you fight for what is rightfully yours.

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