OSHA has published its main initiatives this year for preventing injuries at the workplace. In this list is a timely topic: heat safety.
According to the CDC around 700 individuals succumb to all that is Mother Nature during these hot
It is our responsibility to educate our workers to make sure that they do not fall into one of these statistics!
The body normally cools itself by sweating. But during hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating isn't enough.
Body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if precautions are not taken such as drinking water frequently and resting in the shade or air conditioning. Heat illnesses range from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention and can result in death.
Employers should be proactive about encouraging workers to “keep it cool” and communicate heat illness prevention practices. This includes:
Who isn’t affected is an easier question to answer! All workers exposed to hot and humid conditions are at risk, and can benefit from a refresher course on summer heat safety -- especially those doing heavy work tasks or using bulky protective clothing and equipment.
Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep this in mind and plan additional precautions for working in these conditions.
Some workers might be at greater risk than others if they have not built up a tolerance to hot conditions, including new workers, temporary workers, or those returning to work after a week or more off. This also includes everyone during a heat wave.
Industries most affected by heat-related illness are: construction, trade, transportation, utilities, agriculture, building, grounds maintenance, landscaping services, and support activities for oil and gas operations.
To prevent heat related illness and fatalities:
Need a quick way to remind people of the most important elements of heat safety? Just tell them we’re at WARS. No big booms or Private Ryan – just a useful acronym for prevention of heat casualties:
Stay cool (and safe) out there!