The state of Mississippi is known for its hot and humid summers. The combination of high temperatures and high humidity can make it feel like it is almost impossible to cool down. This can be particularly dangerous for people vulnerable to heat-related illness, such as young children, the elderly, and the thousands of workers whose jobs are entirely outdoors.
Common Heat-Related Illnesses
Working in the heat can be dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken. Prolonged and excessive heat exposure can lead to several heat-related illnesses, including:
Heat Cramps - Sudden, painful muscle spasms that occur during strenuous activity in hot weather. The cramps are usually caused by the loss of salt and water from sweating, and they often affect the muscles of the legs and abdomen. Heat cramps can be a sign of heat exhaustion, and they may occur before or after the onset of other symptoms such as:
Heat cramps are usually the lesser of heat-related illnesses in terms of severity, as they can be treated by resting in a cool environment and drinking fluids. However, if heat cramps are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or lightheadedness, medical attention should be sought immediately, as these may be signs of heat exhaustion.
Heat Exhaustion - A condition that can occur when the body cannot cool itself down. This can happen when the temperature is high, the humidity is high, or if the body is exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods. Symptoms include:
- Heavy Sweating
- Pale Skin
If left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is a potentially life-threatening condition.
Heat Stroke - Heat stroke is a condition that occurs when the body's temperature rises to an unsafe level. The body's temperature regulation system begins to fail, and the body is unable to cool itself down. Heat exhaustion often leads to heat stroke. Symptoms of heat stroke look like:
- High Body Temperature
- Hot/Dry to Touch Skin
- Rapid Heartbeat
Heat stroke can lead to organ damage, brain damage, and even death if left untreated.
What to Do After Suffering Heat-Related Injury at Work
If you suffer a heat-related injury at work, there are certain steps you should take in order to ensure that your legal rights are protected. First, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This will not only ensure that you receive the treatment you need, but it will also create a record of your injuries.
Second, you should notify your employer of the incident as soon as possible. This will allow your employer to take steps to prevent future accidents and will also create a paper trail that can be helpful if you decide to file a claim.
Finally, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case and advise you of your legal options.
Workplace Accident Attorney in Gulfport, Mississippi
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a heat-related illness, the workplace accident attorneys at Gulf South Law Firm can help. We have experience handling cases involving heat stroke, dehydration, and other heat-related conditions, and we will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you have been involved in a workplace accident, call our office today at (228) 231-3989 for a free and easy consultation.