While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigates the heat-related deaths of several employees this year, the organization is also warning employers about the dangers of excessive heat.
Eighteen workers lost their lives to heat-related illness in 2014. There were eight more deaths last year and more than 200 reports of employees being hospitalized for heat illness.
According to OSHA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), firefighters and other workers who wear thick, protective clothing are at greater risk for suffering heat-related illness. Landscapers and others working in direct sunlight for long periods of time are also more at-risk.
Other at-risk occupations include boiler room workers, baggage handlers, farm workers and miners.
Keeping Employees Safe
OSHA advises employers to take the following steps to protect workers who are exposed to excessive heat and humidity:
- Give workers time to rest in the shade
- Provide water and instruct workers to hydrate every 15 minutes even if they are not thirsty
- Allow new workers to gradually increase their amount of work so that they can acclimate to the heat
- Make sure employees wear light-colored clothing
- Monitor workers for signs that they are getting sick
Educate Employees on Signs of Heat Illness
OSHA also advises employers to educate employees on the signs of heat-related illness so they can quickly respond when an employee becomes ill. A quick response could be the difference between life and death for the employee.
Signs of heat illness can include nausea, fainting, heavy sweating, seizures, headache and high body temperature. If an employee experiences those symptoms, they need immediate medical attention.
If you suffered heat-related injuries at your job, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a skilled personal injury lawyer at Anderson Cummings for a free consultation.
Call us today at (817) 920-9000 or fill out a Free Case Evaluation.