Can Your Employer Be Liable for Your Injury If They Make You Work Without Air Conditioning or Heat?

by | Feb 23, 2024 | Injuries | 0 comments

When the temperatures soar or plummet, working without air conditioning or heat is not just uncomfortable—it can be dangerous. If you are facing this situation, you might wonder if your employer is responsible for any injuries or health issues you suffer as a result. The short answer is that in certain circumstances, an employer can be held liable. Employers are required to provide a safe working environment under various laws and regulations. If they fail to do so, and an employee is harmed as a result, the employer may face legal consequences.

At Dominguez Law, our team is committed to advocating for workers who have been put at risk due to inadequate working conditions, including the lack of appropriate heating or cooling. Our expertise in personal injury law allows us to effectively navigate the complexities of these cases, ensuring that our clients receive the justice and compensation they deserve.

Understanding Workplace Safety Standards

Workplace safety is governed by regulations that require employers to maintain a safe environment for their employees. This includes providing adequate heating and cooling in extreme weather conditions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not set specific temperature guidelines, but it does require that employers keep workplace conditions “reasonably comfortable” according to industry standards. If an employer neglects this duty and an employee suffers as a result, the employer may be held liable for violating safety standards.

Exposure to extreme temperatures can lead to a range of health issues, from heat stroke and dehydration in hot conditions to hypothermia and frostbite in cold environments. These conditions not only affect an employee’s health but can also lead to decreased productivity and increased accidents at work. Employers must recognize the risks associated with failing to provide a climate-controlled environment and take precautions to protect their employees.

Liability for injuries sustained in such environments hinges on proving negligence on the part of the employer. This involves demonstrating that the employer knew, or should have known, about the hazardous conditions and did nothing to mitigate the risk.

Legal Recourse for Affected Employees

Employees who have been injured or fallen ill due to inadequate heating or cooling at work may have several legal options. Workers’ compensation is typically the first avenue for seeking relief. This insurance provides benefits to employees who are injured on the job, regardless of who was at fault. However, workers’ compensation might not cover all expenses related to the injury, such as full lost wages or pain and suffering.

In some cases, employees might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer, especially if the employer’s negligence was a clear factor in the harm suffered. This process can be more complex and requires thorough evidence of negligence and causation. Additionally, if a third party’s actions contributed to the unsafe conditions, such as a contractor failing to install adequate heating or cooling equipment, that party might also be liable.

Reach Out to Dominguez Law Today

At Dominguez Law, we are dedicated to standing up for the rights of workers throughout New Mexico. Our experienced attorneys have a proven track record of successfully representing clients in personal injury cases, including those involving workplace injuries due to inadequate heating or cooling. Choosing Dominguez Law means partnering with a firm that values compassionate service and aggressive advocacy. We are committed to fighting for what is best for you, ensuring that you receive the compensation you need for a full recovery. 

Whether negotiating with insurance companies or litigating in court, our team will not back down until justice is served. If you or a loved one has suffered due to working in unsafe temperature conditions, we encourage you to reach out to us. Our initial consultations are free, offering you a risk-free opportunity to discuss your case and understand your options. Contact us today at (505) 850-5854 or via our contact form. Let Dominguez Law guide you toward the compensation and justice you deserve. We also speak Spanish.