Safety stand-down to focus on heat-related, illnesses, injuries
Posted June 28, 2016
To raise awareness about heat-related illness and injuries, OSHA, employers, and trade associations will conduct a one-hour Safety Stand-Down at construction sites and workplaces in eight Southern states from June 27 to July 1, 2016.
Workers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee will stop work voluntarily for one hour at 7 a.m. EDT to conduct safety training focused on how to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and prevent these illnesses when working in hot weather.
Every year, thousands of workers nationwide suffer from serious heat-related illnesses. OSHA investigations of recent heat-related deaths found a majority involved workers on the job for three or less days — highlighting the need for employers to ensure that new workers become acclimated to the heat when starting or returning to work.
Labor-intensive activities in hot weather can increase body temperatures beyond a level that sweating can cool normally. Heat illness may manifest initially as heat rash or heat cramps. The illness can quickly elevate to heat exhaustion and then heat stroke without simple prevention steps.
For the summer season, OSHA offers tools to assist employers and workers:
- Heat-illness educational materials in English and Spanish, and a curriculum to be used for workplace training.
- Online tools such as OSHA worker heat safety tips in a blog, Twitter posts, and a newly updated heat campaign webpage that now includes illustrations of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, an animated video, training resources, and links to an updated heat safety phone app.
- #WaterRestShade, the official hashtag of the campaign, encourages employers to provide their workers with drinking water, ample breaks, and a shaded area while working outdoors
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