Savings and Safety Tips for September 2014 from All Safety Products, Inc.Helping to Prevent Heat Illness for Outdoor Workers.
HEAT ILLNESS CAN BE DEADLY. Every year, thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and some even die. Heat illnesses and deaths are preventable. Employers are responsible for providing workplaces that are safe from excessive heat.
What is heat illness?
The body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating isn't enough. Body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if precautions are not taken such as drinking water frequently and resting in the shade or air conditioning. Heat illnesses range from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention and can result in death.
How can heat illness be prevented?
Employers should establish a complete heat illness prevention program to prevent heat illness. This includes: provide workers with water, rest and shade; gradually increase workloads and allow more frequent breaks for new workers or workers who have been away for a week or more to build a tolerance for working in the heat (acclimatization); modify work schedules as necessary; plan for emergencies and train workers about the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and their prevention; and monitor workers for signs of illness.
Osha has a wonderful page with several helpful links. Please visit their website for more detailed information. You can find it here by clicking this link.
To prevent heat related illness and fatalities:
- Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
- Rest in the shade to cool down.
- Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
- Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
- Keep an eye on fellow workers.
- Easy does it on your first days of work in the heat. You need to get used to it.
If workers are new to working in the heat or returning from more than a week off, and for all workers on the first day of a sudden heat wave, implement a work schedule to allow them to get used to the heat gradually.
Remember these three simple words: Water, Rest, Shade. Taking these precautions can mean the difference between life and death.
Who is affected?
Any worker exposed to hot and humid conditions is at risk of heat illness, especially those doing heavy work tasks or using bulky protective clothing and equipment. Some workers might be at greater risk than others if they have not built up a tolerance to hot conditions, including new workers, temporary workers, or those returning to work after a week or more off. This also includes everyone during a heat wave.
Industries most affected by heat-related illness are: construction; trade, transportation and utilities; agriculture; building, grounds maintenance; landscaping services; and support activities for oil and gas operations.
At All Safety Products, Inc., we offer a wide selection of heat stress products.
Monitoring a heat index for your workers.
Outdoor workers who are exposed to hot and humid conditions are at risk of heat-related illness. The risk of heat-related illness becomes greater as the weather gets hotter and more humid. This situation is particularly serious when hot weather arrives suddenly early in the season, before workers have had a chance to adapt to warm weather.
For people working outdoors in hot weather, both air temperature and humidity affect how hot they feel. The heat index is a single value that takes both temperature and humidity into account. The higher the heat index, the hotter the weather feels, since sweat does not readily evaporate and cool the skin. The heat index is a better measure than air temperature alone for estimating the risk to workers from environmental heat sources.
Osha has a handy tool for you to measure the heat index for your workers.
Visit All Safety Products Heat Stress Products web page where over 150 products are available.
About All Safety Products
We are all about trying to save you money when we are able to. It is our shipping policy to only charge you the actual shipping/handling costs. Sometimes there is a shipping error on our website. We do review all orders for accuracy and pleasantly surprise our customers when we notify them of an adjustment in their favor. We make money on products, not shipping!