Working in the outdoor heat?
Every year, more than 30 workers die of a heat stroke. Due to the rising number of deaths and concern, OSHA has launched a national awareness initiative to educate employers and workers of the dangers of hot outdoor work environments. Heat illness educational materials in both English and Spanish are now available for anyone’s workplace training. The page can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html. Other symptoms to look out for when working in hot temperatures are heat rashes and heat cramps, which can occur prior to a stroke.
“It is essential for workers and employers to take proactive steps to stay safe in extreme heat, and become aware of symptoms of heat exhaustion before they get worse,” says Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “Agriculture workers; building, road and other construction workers; utility workers; baggage handlers; roofers; landscapers; and others who work outside are all at risk. Drinking plenty of water and taking frequent breaks in cool, shaded areas are incredibly important in the hot summer months.”
Even more convenient, you can use your smart phone to your advantage when working outdoors. A mobile app for Androids and iPhones is now available for workers and supervisors to monitor heat index at a work site. Risk levels and reminders on protective safety measures are available in it and can be viewed in either Spanish or English. To download it, visit http://s.dol.gov/RI.
If you haven’t already, you can view Safety Links e-learning safety module on Heat Stress at http://www.safetylinks.net/safety-tip-heat-stress-in-work-environments.