Summer has begun and it brings hot weather – and potentially dangerous work conditions. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminds employers and workers to take precautions to stay safe before a heatwave begins.
OSHA’s message is simple: Water. Rest. Shade.
On hot days, the agency recommends frequent breaks in a cool or shady environment, and drinking water every 15 minutes. OSHA also urges employers to allow new workers to acclimate and build up resistance to the increased temperatures. A recent study of heat-related workplace fatalities found that most occurred during the worker’s first week on the job.
As part of its Heat Illness Prevention Campaign, OSHA offers a website to raise awareness of heat illness symptoms and prevention with educational and training resources in several languages. The site also links to the OSHA-National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Heat Safety Tool, an app available for iPhones and Androids.
OSHA encourages employers and safety professionals to use the site to share examples of how they are keeping workers safe in the heat. In addition to featuring the best examples on its website, the agency will also feature them in its bimonthly newsletter “Quick Takes.” OSHA urges employers, employees and safety professionals to share their heat tips and photos on Twitter using the hashtags: #WaterRestShade and #ProTips.