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Dehydration and Workers’ Compensation

Dehydration and Workers' Compensation
Dehydration can be a precursor to serious injuries, including muscle tears, heatstroke, and even brain damage. Staying well-hydrated can be vitally important for people who work in the kinds of hot conditions we face here in Nevada. When dehydration leads to an injury on the job, it’s important to understand how dehydration fits into workers’ compensation law.

Workers’ comp only covers work-related injuries

Nevada’s workers’ compensation law ensures that benefits are extended to people who suffer injuries that arise out of and in the course of employment. In this regard, some kinds of dehydration-related injuries can at first seem straightforward. For example, a muscle torn while working on a job site may seem like an obvious case of a job-related injury. Insurers sometimes try to escape financial responsibility for a worker’s injuries by looking for independent, non-work causes of the injury. An employee’s serious dehydration could potentially serve that purpose in some situations. People who work in hot conditions probably need to routinely hydrate, not just at work but also during off-work time. People with dehydrating habits, like drinking multiple alcoholic beverages every day, may be contributing to their condition. If a doctor concludes that a specific injury was caused by dehydration that can be traced to something outside of work, a claim could potentially be denied. This uncertainty gives workers one more good reason to stay well-hydrated.

Employer obligations to provide water

The Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends that employers provide workers with regular access to water as part of a broader plan to mitigate heat-related injury. But these are only recommendations. Under state and federal OSHA law, every employer is required to keep workplaces free of hazards that are likely to cause serious harm. This general duty is subject to interpretation, but can be construed as requiring employers to provide basic mitigation for heat-related injuries in situations where the workplace is exposed to the hot sun. A supply of water and regular opportunities for water breaks may fit within this obligation. Unfortunately, OSHA laws are only enforceable through administrative processes. They do not provide for a worker to sue to enforce their guidelines, and they aren’t typically useful in disputes over workers’ compensation coverage.

GGRM can answer your workers’ comp questions

The attorneys at the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have broad experience with workers’ compensation issues. We help our clients resolve claims disputes and get the benefits they deserve. For a free attorney consultation call us today at 702-388-4476 or ask us to reach out to you through our contact page.

Bicycle Safety Tips

Riding a bicycle can be dangerous and can result in injuries including fractures, concussions and internal injuries. Even if you consider yourself an experienced bicyclist, you can still get into an accident due to the fault of someone else on the road. If this happens, you'll want to speak with a Las Vegas personal injury attorney. The following are important bicycle safety tips:

  • Always wear a helmet  / 

    A helmet can be the difference between life and death. Even if you’re a professional bicyclist that never falls doesn't mean you'll never be involved in an accident. Remember, there are other people on the road too - someone could accidentally hit you from your blind spot.

  • Always stay visible  / 

    If it's raining or dark outside, make sure your bike is visible on the road. Many bicyclists get into accidents during conditions of low visibility because drivers couldn't see them on the road. To stay visible, make sure you use a light on your bike and consider wearing reflective clothing when biking at night.

  • Bike like a car  / 

    Don't swerve around the road when biking. You should bike as if you were in a car. This means biking within your lane and in the direction of traffic. This will help protect you from possibly being hit by a car that’s not suspecting you to veer out of your lane.

  • Don't get distracted  / 

    Keep your eyes on the road ahead of you and stay alert for any obstacles that may come into your path. Avoid talking on the phone and listening to music while biking. Doing so is a huge distraction. You need to be able to hear oncoming traffic as well as if a driver honks at you.

  • Obey the traffic laws  / 

    One of the common misconceptions bicyclists have is they don't necessarily have to stop at stop signs or red lights. By not obeying traffic laws or lights, you're not only putting yourself at risk, you're putting others on the road at risk as well.

  • Check your bike  / 

    Make sure your saddle is comfortable and tight. Test your wheels to make sure there's enough air in them and check your brakes to make sure they are functioning properly. The last thing you want to do is get out on the road only to find that your tires aren't quite full enough and your brakes don't seem to be working!

Always use these bicycle safety tips to reduce the risk of injury while biking on the road. If you get injured in a bicycle accident, then be sure to speak with a Las Vegas personal injury attorney. Be sure to contact GGRM at 702-388-4476 to speak with a Las Vegas personal injury attorney and schedule a free consultation.