Worker Settles Heatstroke Suit With Ex-boss

Source: The Straits Times, Wednesday 3 August 2011

A Chinese carpenter, who sued for damages amounting $360,200 after he collapsed from heatstroke at work, has reached a settlement with his former employer on liability issue.

According to the news report, the carpenter came to Singapore at the end of April last year and started work immediately after his arrival. While working in a condominium site, he lost consciousness and his head hit against a hard surface after he collapsed from heatstroke. As the carpenter came from his hometown with cooler weather of 15 deg C to 18 deg C, he felt that he was not given time to acclimatize to the local humid weather.

After the accident, he was unable to talk and requires help in performing basic daily functions. He is also unable to work again.

Our thoughts:

Measures to prevent heat stress:

  • Install local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems
  • Educate employees on the awareness of heat stress
  • Employees should hydrate themselves with plenty of water
  • Supervisors trained to detect early signs of heat stress and take prevention actions
  • Employers should factor in employees’ physical conditions and minimize their skin exposure to the sun

In case you detect a victim:

  • activate relevant emergency response
  • immediately move him to a cool area
  • wet the victim’s clothes with cool water