Editor's Note

Editor’s Note: Safety in the summer heat

As I write this, the Chicagoland area has just endured a string of 90-degree days – with even more expected in the week ahead.

A substantial part of Safety+Health’s coverage this month is related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but tucked into the news section is a brief about preventing heat-related illnesses. It’s a topic that typically would have been a lot more prominent in an August issue of this magazine – and in the occupational safety community in general.

OSHA hosts webinar on preventing heat-related illnesses, injuries

Washington - To prevent illnesses and injuries related to environmental heat exposure, employers need to "think about preventing injuries and providing workers with the right equipment for the job," a May 19 webinar hosted by OSHA advises. "Millions of U.S.

Even though COVID-19 is rightly on people’s minds, we can’t forget the basics of summer safety. Outdoor workers who may feel they’re safer because they’re breathing fresh air need to be reminded of the dangers of working in the heat and what they should do to protect themselves.

The three “key words” of OSHA’s heat illness prevention campaign are water, rest and shade. More information on the campaign – including videos, graphics and other educational and training materials – can be found at osha.gov/heat.

So, too, are links to the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool, which is free for download on the Apple Store and Google Play. Available in English and Spanish, the mobile app features “real-time heat index and hourly forecasts, specific to your location, as well as occupational safety and health recommendations from OSHA and NIOSH.”

Those recommendations include educating people on recognizing the signs of heat illnesses in themselves and others. Whether you’re responsible for the safety of outdoor work crews, or simply headed outdoors on the weekend, keep heat illness prevention in mind and – as you always do – teach others. Please stay safe and well. The world needs you.

Melissa J. Ruminski Melissa J. Ruminski is editor of Safety+Health magazine and the National Safety Council's other periodicals including Family Safety & Health magazine and a variety of newsletters.

The opinions expressed in “Editor’s Note” do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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