Friday, June 9, 2017

Workers feeling the heat?

Without staying hydrated and taking breaks, workers could experience anything from dehydration to death resulting from heat-related illness.

Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards. This includes protecting workers from extreme heat. An employer with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a complete heat illness prevention program. Things to consider when developing this program include:

·       Provide workers with water, rest, and shade.
·       Allow new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as they acclimatize and build a tolerance for working in the heat.
·       Plan for emergencies, and train workers on prevention
·       Monitor workers for signs of illness

Drinking water and staying hydrated in crucial in preventing heat related illness

To help workers combat heat stress OSHA has a mobile app available on Google Play and the iTunes app store free for download. Workers often check their phones, so this is a tech-savvy way to remind them to be healthy and stay safe. The Heat Safety Tool app first determines your location, then, it will calculate the heat index and display the risk level to outdoor workers. The app can assist workers by alerting them when to take breaks.

Prevention of heat stress in workers is important. Employers should provide training to workers so they understand what heat stress is, how it affects their health and safety, and how it can be prevented. Here is a handy fact sheet to post on signs and symptoms of heat related illnesses.


By: Julie Jelen, Loss Control Consultant