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OSHA Shares Heat Protection Success Stories

Monday, August 21, 2017

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The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is reminding employers of the importance of protecting workers from heat-related illnesses, even as summer nears its end.

The agency is also sharing stories from employers who have had success in implementing safety programs.

In 2011, OSHA launched the Heat Illness Prevention Campaign to help educate employers about the risk of these illnesses. The campaign offers training sessions, outreach events and other educational tools to reinforce the mantra for staying healthy in the warm summer season: "Water. Rest. Shade."

OSHA points out that the law requires employers to provide workers with water, rest and shade; allow workers returning to the field to acclimatize; plan for emergencies and train workers on prevention; and monitor workers for signs of illness.

Employers Fighting Heat-Related Illness

OSHA has highlighted a number of employers, including some in the coatings industry, that have taken steps to protect their workers.

Corrpro, a subsidiary of Aegion Coating Services LLC, a corrosion protection services provider, has heat illness prevention training, weekly bulletins on heat management topics and a custom-built app to report heat exposures and responses. Employees also use the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool to monitor the heat index. All of these factors have contributed to two years without any heat-related incidents among the subsidiary’s 1,200 employees.

 © / Vladimirovic

OSHA recently listed employers who had gone above and beyond to keep workers safe from heat-related illnesses during the warm summer season.

Metal foundry Precision Castparts Corp. educates its employees about warning signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, along with what to do in case there is an incident, and before first-responders arrive. When the heat index reaches a certain point, employees must increase their water intake, and a heat stress recovery area is also provided.

Marine infrastructure and utility contractor Ballard Marine Construction sets up portable shade canopies outside its dive control vans, with misting hoses to help employees cool down.

Granite Construction provides jobsite supervisors with shade canopies, and gives employees cooling neck towels along with shades for hard hats. The company also monitors the OSHA-NIOSH heat safety app and offers training sessions on heat illness-related topics.

With employees working in aircraft hangars, Valair Aviation purchased large fans, ice machines and filtered water dispensers. The company also had employees rotate to cooler jobs in the hangars, and provided T-shirts and allowed for the wearing of shorts when temperatures exceed 82 degrees.

Baker Roofing provides employees with cooling inserts for their hard hats, along with earlier working schedules to get employees off roofs by 2 p.m. daily. Each crew has shade tents and water coolers that they plan to equip with misting machines.


Tagged categories: Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; North America; OSHA; OSHA

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