On June 27, 2003, a 41-year-old, male laborer died from heat stroke one day after being taken to the hospital. The laborer was working on an addition to a factory sawing boards to make concrete forms. He worked until 5:00 pm that day and was in the parking lot on his way to his vehicle when he apparently collapsed beside his vehicle. A worker on the second shift at the factory was taking scrap material outside to a dumpster when he found the laborer on the ground. The factory worker returned to the plant and told his supervisor there was a man on the ground in the parking lot who needed emergency care. After instructing the company receptionist to call for emergency medical services, the supervisor went to the parking lot to administer emergency care to the laborer until EMS arrived. When EMS arrived, they recorded the laborer’s body temperature as 107 degrees F. The laborer was transported to a local hospital where he died the next day with an internal body temperature of 108 degrees F. Death was listed by the coroner as due to heat stroke.

To help prevent similar incidents from occurring, the following recommendations have been made:

  1. Employers should train supervisors and employees to recognize symptoms of heat exhaustion / stroke when working in high heat index and / or humid conditions.
  2. To avoid dehydration and heat stress / stroke, employees should be given frequent breaks and be provided drinking water and other hydrating drinks when working in humid and hot conditions.
  3. Work hours should be adjusted to accommodate environmental work conditions such as high heat index and/or high humidity.

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