OSHA says it's your responsibility: Protect employees from high heat hazards.

As much of the nation continues to swelter though a summer of record-breaking heat, OSHA has issued an official hazard alert reminding employers they are responsible for protecting workers from heat illness.

Titled "Extreme Heat Can Be Deadly to Workers," the alert states, "Heat is a well-known and recognized occupational hazard for outdoor and indoor workers that can cause serious or fatal illness when they are not provided the necessary protections and training. Each year, thousands of workers become sick from occupational heat exposure, and too many of those illnesses result in fata l it ies."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there have been 436 work-related deaths caused by environmental heat exposure since 2011.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 658 Americans die each year from heat illness. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the most serious heat illnesses, and heat stroke is often fatal.

The new OSHA hazard alert emphasizes these measures for preventing heat illness:

* At a minimum, employers should provide adequate cool water, rest breaks and shade or a cool rest area for employees.

* Give new or returning employees the chance to gradually acclimatize (or become used to working in hot temperatures), to be trained and plan for emergencies, and to monitor for heat signs/symptoms.

* Train employees on heat illness prevention and emergency first-aid measures to take if a co-worker appears to be suffering from heat-related...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT