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Michigan OSHA launches emphasis program targeting heat hazards

worker - hot weather
Photo: RuslanDashinsky/iStockphoto

Lansing, MI — Michigan OSHA has launched a state emphasis program aimed at identifying and reducing exposures to indoor and outdoor heat-related hazards.

The initiative comes after federal OSHA adopted a similar national emphasis program in April. MIOSHA intends to provide compliance assistance to raise awareness of heat illness and educate organizations on steps to prevent dangerous situations in high-risk work settings.

The agency encourages employers to download its sample heat illness prevention plan to use as a template to establish their own program. Another available resource is a fact sheet from OSHA on protecting workers from the heat.

Employers should evaluate indoor and outdoor worksites, then provide detailed procedures on preventing and treating heat illness, including:

  • Training workers and supervisors
  • Monitoring the heat index and planning strategies for when temperatures reach 90° F or higher
  • Provisioning water
  • Accessing cooling areas or shade
  • Building heat tolerance
  • Establishing an emergency response
  • Handling an ill worker

“Whether you’re working indoors or outdoors, hot and humid conditions can pose serious risks to workers’ health, but heat-related illnesses are preventable,” MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman said in a press release. “That’s why we’re reminding employers of their responsibility to provide workplaces free of known heat-related safety and health hazards and equipping them with a plan to establish their own heat illness prevention procedures.”

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