Today’s post was shared by US Labor Department and comes from blog.dol.gov
This is a follow up to the blog post earlier this week about resources regarding the heat and staying safe when working outside. With the forecast in our corner of the Great Plains set for the 90s and maybe even triple digits either today or over the weekend, keeping safe while working in the heat should be a concern for all workers and employers. Because Mother Nature doesn’t pay attention to the calendar start of summer, the time to prepare for the heat is literally today.
Please be aware of the heat and what its effects can be on workers, on children and the elderly, and on pets. No one is safe in a closed-up car that does not have the air conditioner running, for example. In addition, every time you or your loved ones are outside, please take the heat index into account, especially if exercising, doing strenuous work, or staying outside for long periods of time.
Prolonged exposure to excessive heat and humidity can result in injuries and diseases covered by the workers’ compensation laws. Workers with heat exhaustion, strokes, heart attacks and skin conditions may be entitled to lost-time benefits, medical expenses and permanent disability benefits if the condition is serious.
It also appears that extreme weather is going to continue into this summer season, with some hail and wind damage already to homes, crops and property. When storms do come, be sure it’s someone’s job to keep the crew safe from sudden weather, regardless of the industry. Enjoy the summer, and contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney if there are questions about a specific incident that occurred at work.
Forecasters are calling for above-average temperatures across much of the country this summer. Are you prepared to beat the heat?
Every year, thousands of workers become ill from working in the heat, and some even die. Construction workers make up about one-third of heat-related worker deaths, but outdoor workers in every industry – particularly agriculture, landscaping, transportation, and oil and gas operations − are at risk when temperatures go up.
Heat-related illnesses and deaths can be prevented. Employers and supervisors can save the lives of workers in hot environments by following these eight simple steps:
Institute a heat acclimatization plan and medical monitoring program. Closely supervise new employees for the first 14 days or until they are fully acclimatized. Most heat-related worker deaths occur in the first 3 days on the job and more than a third occur on the very first day. New and temporary workers are disproportionately affected. If someone has not worked in hot weather for at least a week, their body needs time to adjust.
Encourage workers to drink about 1 cup of water every 15-20 minutes. During prolonged sweating lasting several hours, they should drink sports beverages containing balanced electrolytes.
Provide shaded or air-conditioned rest areas for cooling down, and empower workers to use them.
Provide workers with protective equipment and clothing (such as water-cooled…
How is your summer going? Is it hot enough for you? Are you used to the heat yet?
These are all good questions for folks to ask each other as the calendar start of summer is coming. When you and your loved ones work outside, do you take breaks? What kind of training has your employer provided to make sure safety is followed in the outdoor workplace?
This link from the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration was found on the Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group’s Twitter feed and has some excellent resources available, including a smartphone app. These key words are really helpful for safety in the summer heat: “Water. Rest. Shade. The work can’t get done without them.” The link also includes educational resources, information about using the heat index, training, and an online toolkit.
Please review and follow these tips with loved ones before someone you know gets overheated this summer. Keep in mind that if a heat-related injury does occur at work, it’s important to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer for advice on what to do next.