June 28, 2017

OSHA’s Campaign to Keep Workers Safe in the Heat

By Jonathan Damashek

Posted in

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Summer is here, and the usual high temperatures of this season recently started to hit our city. A job that is extremely affected by it is construction work. These employees spend the entire day outdoors doing physical work at extreme temperatures that can be dangerous for their well-being.

Although not many workers are aware, working in the heat can be lethal. Every year, dozens of workers die, and thousands more become ill while working in extreme heat or humid conditions. More than 40 percent of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry. There are a range of heat illnesses, and they can affect anyone, regardless of age or physical condition.

Employers have the responsibility to keep workers safe in the heat. They are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards, which includes protecting workers from extreme heat. An employer with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a complete heat illness prevention program. Employers should provide workers with water, rest, and shade. They should also allow new workers to gradually increase workloads and take more breaks as they get used to the high temperatures, and monitor workers for signs of illness.

In an effort to keep construction workers safe, in 2011 OSHA launched a Heat Illness Prevention campaign. This campaign educates employers and workers on the dangers of working in the heat. Through training sessions, outreach events, informational sessions, publications, social media messaging, and media appearances, millions of workers and employers have learned how to protect workers from heat. OSHA’s safety message comes down to three key words: Water. Rest. Shade.

If you or a family member is injured in a construction accident, contact us for a FREE consultation. We are here to HELP!