SPOT on Safety

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Safety Tips When Working in Hot Weather

Summer is around the corner and temperatures will soon be on the rise. Similar to the warnings that we encourage employees to heed during the winter months, it is perhaps even more critical to be careful when working in the extreme heat, especially for prolonged periods of time.

According to OSHA, extreme heat exposure is the leading cause of weather-related death, prompting more than 65,000 emergency room visits annually. In 2014, 18 workers died from heat stroke or other heat-related causes. Heat stroke occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature. When this occurs, body temperature can rise to 106° F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. If emergency treatment is not provided, heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability.

Water. Rest. Shade., OSHA’s annual summer campaign to keep workers safe in the heat, urges workers to acclimatize to the heat, offering tips to help prevent heat-related illnesses and fatalities. They include:

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  • Drink water every 15 minutes.

  • Take rest breaks in the shade to cool down.

  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.

  • Monitor fellow workers for any signs of problems.

For additional information regarding heat related illness and preventative steps that you can take to ensure your safety, please click here for OSHA’s Fact Sheet.

jason dunn