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OSHA: 2014 Heat Injury Prevention Initiative

Summer weather and intense working conditions can result in deadly heat-related illnesses.

OSHA has initiated its 2014 heat injury prevention initiative to prevent worker injury caused by heat exposure. The Heat Illness Prevention Campaign is aimed at informing employers and workers about how to prevent heat-related illness and death. As the summer months make heat a working condition of concern in Boston and nationwide, it is important to take into consideration these warnings and to participate in early prevention.
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Since beginning the campaign in 2011, OSHA has been able to reach out to more than 7 million employers, workers, and residents, providing valuable resources to prevent heat-related injury. The agency has used its resources to provide information, distribute fact sheets, posters, and host training session to prevent injuries. Our Boston work injury lawyers are dedicated raising awareness and in joining this effort to keep workers safe this summer. Here are some tips for employers and workers to help prevent heat injury:

Be wary in high temperatures. Employers and workers should prepare for high temperatures and know when heat levels become dangerous.

Know the risks. One way to prevent heat injury is to understand the risks. Any worker who is exposed to hot and humid conditions could be at risk of heat illness. Employees who perform heavy labor are at a higher risk, especially if they are required to wear bulky protective gear and clothing.

Provide proper training to employees. Employees in construction, transportation, agriculture, and maintenance are at a high risk of heat injury. These employees should be given proper training to watch out for signs of heat stroke and know how to treat a victim in the event of injury. Heat injuries may also impact workers in landscaping, baggage handling, and in oil and gas operations.

Prepare for hot temperatures. Employers are responsible for ensuring safe working conditions for employees. In hot conditions, this means that workers should be able to seek out adequate water, shade, and rest to prevent overheating. Workers should drink plenty of water, take breaks when necessary, and rest in the shade to cool down.

Understand signs of heat injury. While the human body can normally cool down through sweating, body temperatures can become too high in hot and humid weather. A heat injury includes heat rash, cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke is extremely dangerous and can lead to death. Workers should know symptoms and watch their fellow workers for signs of injury.

Have a plan in the event of emergency. Employers should provide workers with necessary steps to take in the event of a heat-related illness. Through dissemination of information, including handouts and posters, or through training sessions, workers should be prepared. Acting quickly in the event of an emergency can save lives.

OSHA continues to partner with other organizations, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as the National Weather Service to keep workers informed and to provide warnings in the event of high temperatures. Workers who suffer from heat-related injury may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.

Call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim– 1-888-367-2900.

More Blog Entries:

New Push for Railroad Worker Safety in New England, January 14, 2014.

Guidelines for Improving Temp Worker Safety, January 11, 2014.