OSHA offers advice for working in summer heat
July 6, 2007
Every summer, thousands of Americans are hospitalized for heat-related illnesses. Many of these cases are employees who work outdoors where heat stress is potentially dangerous. Now that summer has begun, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding all employers and employees nationwide about its safety and health resources, especially those offering best practices for working in hot weather.
“Every outdoor job site faces hazards posed by the sun and heat,” said OSHA’s Assistant Secretary of Labor Edwin G. Foulke Jr. “We are encouraging employers and employees to take advantage of our published resources that offer sound advice to recognize and prevent heat stress and other heat-related illnesses.”
The two most serious forms of heat related illnesses are heat exhaustion (primarily from dehydration) and the more severe heat stroke, which could be fatal. Symptoms include headaches, weakness, nausea and dizziness. Recognizing those warning signs and taking quick action can help prevent a fatality.