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Cryotherapy in the Workplace: How Safe Are You?

Cryotherapy is a therapy that lands somewhere in the realm between science fiction and reality.  Cleveland.com writes that the treatment is not medical in nature, but rather for people seeking a faster recovery and better health.  The process itself involves bodily exposure to sub-zero temperatures for a set period of time.  Many NBA players such as the Cavaliers have used cryotherapy. Forbes reports that not only athletes, but also celebrities are starting to use cryotherapy.  In fact Forbes reports that Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Demi Moore, and Jennifer Aniston are among the big names using cryotherapy.

 

The reasons to use cryotherapy vary for each person.  Among the many claims, cryotherapy is allegedly able to decrease inflammation, decrease weight, increase blood flow to vital organs, boost immune systems and boost metabolisms. These claims aside, the fact is that cryotherapy is becoming very popular. The New York Times notes that whole body cryotherapy centers have opened up in Alabama, California, Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Ohio.  One concern is that, even though it is called “cryotherapy,” it has yet to be recognized as a form of medical treatment.  As a result, there are no health agencies assigned specifically to regulate cryotherapy in Nevada.

 

Cryotherapy Risks

Cryotherapy has come under more scrutiny recently after the death of 24-year-old Chelsea Patricia Ake-Salvacion.  The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that Ake-Salvacion was found dead at her place of employment, Rejuvenice, a cryotherapy center in south Las Vegas Valley.  Multiple agencies told the journal that they would not be conducting investigations since cryotherapy does not fall under the same type of regulation as a medical treatment or a salon. It is especially noteworthy that both the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, and the Southern Nevada Health District do not regulate cryotherapy businesses. According to the report, the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is not investigating because it has determined that Ake-Salvacion was not using the machine during business hours.  OSHA was on the scene initially though.

 

New Cryotherapy Regulations in Nevada

Since Ake-Salvacion’s death, Nevada has created new health guidelines to regulate the burgeoning practice.  The New York Times reports that the guidelines include certain age restrictions, height restrictions, and even limitations on people with certain medical conditions (i.e high blood pressure, pregnancy, etc.) being able to use cryotherapy.  Additional regulations have been put into place to protect the employees that work at cryotherapy centers.  These regulations include new warning signs that include the dangers of nitrogen exposure, such as burns, lightheadedness, and asphyxiation.  The regulations also call for more employee training to avoid the dangers involved with cryotherapy and excess nitrogen exposure. The regulations are all designed to protect the employees who work at the cryotherapy centers.

 

Workplace Accident at a Cryotherapy Center

If you work at a cryotherapy center and have been injured, you may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits.  The only way to know for sure is with the aid of a licensed Nevada workers’ compensation attorney. If you have been injured on the job then you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.

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