EMPLOYERS MUST PROTECT WORKERS FROM HEAT STROKE
Those hot, hazy days of summer are approaching. The heat can be especially harmful to those who work outdoors in direct sunlight or in hot environments, making them susceptible to heat-induced illnesses such as heat stress, heat exhaustion, or the more serious heat stroke.
As we move into the summer months, it is important for workers and their employers to minimize the chances of heat-induced illnesses, and imperative that they recognize the signs of heat stress and take proper precautions to reduce the chances of illness or death.”
High temperature and humidity, physical exertion and lack of sufficient water intake can lead to heat-related stress. Symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke include confusion, irrational behavior, loss of consciousness, abnormally high body temperature, and hot, dry skin.
HSE advises workers to take preventive measures such as reducing physical exertion and wearing light, loose-fitting clothing. The agency advises employers to provide workers with water and regular rest periods in a cool recovery area.employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards. This includes protecting workers from extreme heat. An employer with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a complete heat illness prevention program.
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.
- Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep this in mind and plan additional precautions for working in these conditions.