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OSHA launches campaign highlighting heat and lightning dangers

Those who work outdoors in New Jersey may be vulnerable to heat-related illnesses or injuries during the summer months. That's why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration launches a campaign every year that reminds employers to provide their outdoor workers with shade, regular breaks and ample amounts of drinking water.

According to OSHA statistics, heat stroke killed 18 workers in 2014. An additional 2,600 workers suffered some sort of heat-related injury or illness that year. Those unaccustomed to outdoor work are particularly susceptible. OSHA says that most investigations into heat-related deaths involve workers with only a few days of experience. The safety campaign is being promoted aggressively on social media, and it provides employers with resources such as a list of heat exhaustion symptoms, an explanatory video, a heat safety smartphone app and a series of useful links.

OSHA has also teamed up with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to bring attention to the dangers of lightning. While lightning strikes are relatively rare, they still kill about 50 Americans each year. The OSHA and NOAA initiative reminds employers and outdoor workers that lightning is a workplace hazard that can strike without warning many miles from the scene of heavy rainfall. Workers are encouraged to seek shelter at the first sound of thunder and to remain indoors for at least 30 minutes after a storm has passed.

Workers who suffer heat-related injuries usually recover quickly, but they may still be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Injured workers sometimes find the claim procedure confusing. Some victims may find that their claims have been delayed or denied due to missing paperwork or incomplete medical evidence. Attorneys with experience in this area may assist those who have suffered a job injury with their workers' compensation claims.

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