OSHA Campaign Aims To Keep Workers Safe In The Heat
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is working with the the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other organizations to see that workers — both indoor and outdoor are keeping safe in high-heat situations.
Operations involving high air temperatures and humidity, radiant heat sources and direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities have a high potential for causing heat-related illness, according to OSHA.
Outdoor workplaces that often deal with hot weather and direct sun include: landscaping firms, construction sites, emergency response operations, hazardous waste site activities, oil and gas well operations, and farms.
Affected indoor workplaces with hot conditions may include: commercial kitchens, laundries, chemical plants, material handling, distribution warehouses, older schools, iron and steel foundries, brick-firing and ceramic plants, glass products facilities, electrical utilities and bakeries.
While there are no OSHA standards for occupational heat exposure, the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are required to provide a place of employment that "is free from recognizable hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employees."
The OSHA site offers guidance and information about working in indoor and outdoor heat, protecting workers, recognizing symptoms and first aid training. In addition to providing a safe workplace, employers are urged to have an emergency plan in place that includes instructions on what to do if a worker has signs of heat-related illness. Employers are also urged to see that medical services are available if needed.
Get more information for outdoor and indoor workplaces on the OSHA website.
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