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Hot Summer Days Await—Keep Outdoor Workers Safe from Heat Illness

Hot-Summer-Days-Await-Keep-Outdoor-Workers-Safe-from-Heat-Illness

The heat of summer is coming. For any business with outside workers, there are serious concerns about heat danger. Whether it’s in the humidity of Florida or the desert’s dry heat, there are many who will toil under the sun in the coming months, feeling the impact of excessive seasonal warmth. OSHA reports 65,000 people seek medical treatment for heat exposure every year.[1]

To keep outdoor workers safe from heat illness, you’ll need to employ education, technology, and cooling tools.

Sharing Education and Training Keeps Workers Heat Aware

Do your workers know what signs to look for in diagnosing heat-related injuries? Under the General Duty Clause, OSHA requires employers to maintain a workplace free of known hazards, including excessive heat. Further, OSHA states employers who have workers exposed to high temperatures should provide a complete heat illness prevention program, including heat safety training. OSHA provides samples of training here, but they aren’t the only ones.  For example, according to an Ocala Star Banner article, many workers must deal with the excessive heat in Florida. Thus, local government hosts hot-weather safety training each year.[2] The sessions teach employees how to react to heat incidents and avoid them with proper hydration, breaks in the shade, and the use of cooling tools. It’s a great idea to create a formal Heat Safety Plan for your organization. The plan can guide your employees on how to best prepare and respond.

New in Tech: NIOSH and OSHA Update Heat Safety App

Technology is providing new tools in heat injury prevention. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and OSHA issued an update to their Heat Safety Tool app. The app measures how hot it feels based on temperature and humidity. Once the app scans for the data, it presents a risk rating based on the heat index it registers. Depending on the risk level, the app provides recommendations on how to stay protected from the heat.

OSHA Guidance Recommends Misting to Keep Workers Cool

In OSHA’s guidance on keeping workers safe from heat injury, the organization publishes a guide for employers, urging them to use personal cooling measures like misting stations in severe heat. Similar to misting stations, evaporative coolers work much the same way. They both work to atomize water into a cool mist. Breezer Mobile Cooling’s Power Breezer offers this same capability. Its oscillation feature and powerful fan help to extend the mist, cooling many at once. Simple, yet effective, these cooling fans are a vital tool in eliminating heat illness on the job. To achieve a heat safe workplace, we invite you to learn more how to create a climate of safety by learning more about the Power Breezer.

 

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/pubs/extreme-heat-guidebook.pdf

[2] http://www.ocala.com/news/20150630/how-do-outdoor-workers-cope-with-hot-florida-summer

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