The Florida sun is nothing if not intense. Many workers spend their days in the hot sun for hours at a time. Even if they take time to cool off or drink water, there are other risks that they could face.
One of the greatest risks to outdoor workers in Florida is getting a severe sunburn. Sunburns are often thought of as inconveniences, but they have the potential to land someone in a hospital or cause life-threatening illness.
Sunburn dangers are beyond short-term pain
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sunburns are more than just a painful reminder to use sunscreen. Sunburns accelerate aging, can be a risk factor in melanoma and other forms of cancer, lead to severe blistering and damage the skin.
There are times when a person should go to the hospital for a sunburn. Severe, or acute, sunburns include those that:
- Cause widespread blistering across the body
- Cause a high fever
- Lead to severe dehydration
- Create nausea or chills
- Produce a headache
- Cause vision problems
- Lead to confusion
- Cause severe, sometimes nearly unbearable, pain
If someone develops these symptoms, it’s important for them to go to the hospital right away.
Sunburns are linked to heat-related illnesses
Remember that sunburns are linked to heat-related illnesses, too. It’s possible to have sunburns be a precursor to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke is a life-threatening illness that has symptoms such as an extreme headache, seizures and a high body temperature over 104 degrees Fahrenheit. If anyone on the job exhibits symptoms of heat stroke, they should be taken to a cool area while waiting for 911 to arrive.
Can you get workers’ compensation for a sunburn?
If you cannot work because you have a severe sunburn and need medical attention, it is possible that you could get workers’ compensation for that sunburn. If you would like to seek medical care for a blistered sunburn or signs of heat exhaustion/heat stroke, then you should call 911 or speak with your employer about going to an urgent care facility as soon as possible. Workers’ compensation should cover that medical visit, so that you can get the treatment you need.