Fortunately, employers have ample resources to ensure workplace safety including a guide that outlines protective measures that are to be taken at each heat index risk level. If a worker falls ill, OSHA will investigate to see if your workplace is in compliance with their heat campaign. If an illness, injury, or even fatality occurs on your jobsite, you should contact our OSHA defense attorneys immediately.
This last portion of our two-part series will conclude our list of tips. Read part one of the article for more ways to survive the summer heat.
What You Wear Matters
What you wear will either keep you cool or work against you. The best gear protects you from sunburns, wicks away sweat, and keeps you cool. Clothing that is too tight or made of polyester will not allow your body to cool properly. Workers should invest in lighter colored clothing that is made of engineered fabric such as recreational and outdoor apparel or breathable cotton. Shaded safety glasses, cooling bandanas, and cooling hard hat liners are great for hot weather.
Know the Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses
A worker experiencing an illness may not realize what is happening to them. This is why everyone must be trained to know the signs of a heat-related illness. If the person suffering isn’t cognizant, then someone else will likely recognize what is happening. Muscle cramping is a tell-tale sign of heat of a heat-related illness. Other signs include lethargy, disorientation, dropping tools, slurred speech, or unresponsiveness. Some of the signs of heat exhaustion include profuse sweating, cold and clammy skin, a fast pulse, fainting, and nausea or vomiting. Signs of a heat stroke may include red, hot skin, a rapid pulse, a body temperature above 103°F, and unconsciousness.
Consider Shifting Work Hours
When the weather forecast predicts heat above 90 degrees, construction employers should consider rescheduling work to be performed during cooler parts of the day. If work can be performed at night or early morning, as long as it would not interfere with residential neighborhoods, make the change. If scheduling cannot be shifted, supervisors should plan to give more frequent breaks throughout the day.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.