People who work on oil rigs and in oil fields face all kinds of risks. Among those are heat-related illnesses like heat stress. The Texas summer heat can be particularly brutal on anyone who does physical labor outdoors.
Basically, heat stress occurs when it’s so hot that a person can’t maintain a normal body temperature. Heatstroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps are all common types of heat stress. Heatstroke is the most dangerous. If a person suffering heatstroke doesn’t get medical treatment immediately, it can be fatal.
People who are older and/or overweight or have medical conditions like blood pressure can be most susceptible to heat stress. However, it can happen to anyone, particularly if they’re doing strenuous work for hours at a time on a hot, sunny day.
Employers need to take steps to protect their workers
Texas doesn’t have the kind of standards in place that govern breaks, water, indoor or shaded areas and other safety measures for those who work in extreme temperatures. However, employers should.
Companies that employ oil rig and oil field workers need to have heat illness prevention programs. That includes making sure their workers have the necessary training to recognize the signs of heat-related illnesses in themselves or others. They should know basic first-aid measures and when to call for emergency medical assistance. Employers should also provide head coverings and lightweight clothing. Often, fire-proof clothing is required for these jobs.
Anyone who works outdoors in Texas needs to understand the seriousness of heat-related illnesses and how to spot the symptoms before a person’s condition becomes a threat to their health and even their life. If you or a loved one has suffered a heat-related illness that requires medical care and time away from work, it’s crucial to seek workers’ compensation benefits. If you’re having difficulty getting the benefits to which you’re entitled, it may be wise to seek legal guidance.