Seasonal safety: Summer Federal agencies Heat stress Workplace exposures

Keep workers safe from heat: OSHA releases poster

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Photo: OSHA

Washington — As warmer summer temperatures approach, OSHA has unveiled a new poster intended to help workers reduce their risk of heat-related illness.

“Although heat illness is preventable, every year, thousands of workers become sick from occupational heat exposure, and some cases are fatal,” the agency says.

The poster contains tips to help prevent heat-related illnesses and fatalities, including:

  • Drink water every 20 minutes, even if you aren’t thirsty.
  • Take rest breaks in the shade to cool down.
  • Wear a hat and loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.
  • Monitor colleagues for signs of heat illness, such as headache or nausea, weakness or dizziness, elevated body temperature, and thirst.

If a co-worker exhibits abnormal thinking/behavior or slurred speech, or suffers a seizure or becomes unconscious, call 911 immediately before cooling the worker with water or ice, OSHA advises. Remain by their side until help arrives.

 

Additionally, the agency calls on employers to help workers acclimatize to the heat, easing them into any work that exposes them to outdoor or indoor heat.

OSHA offers additional resources on the topic via its “Water. Rest. Shade.” campaign.

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