Heat Related Illness Statement Issued
August 1, 2011
Dear NATE Members,
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a statement regarding workers being exposed to high heat this summer. As part of NATE’s dedication to the health and safety of all NATE members and their employees, and as a supplement to the July Tower Times article highlighting how to protect employees from heat related health concerns, the Association wants you to be aware of this information.
NATE Executive Director
Statement by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis
on Continued Heat Waves Sweeping the Country
WASHINGTON – Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement regarding continued record temperatures:
“Four weeks into the summer, the nation continues to experience record heat. For outdoor workers, this means being at risk for heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Employers must take the precautions needed to protect outdoor workers:
- Have a work site plan to prevent heat-related illnesses and make sure that medical services are available to respond to an emergency should one occur.
- Provide plenty of water at the job site and remind workers to drink small amounts of water frequently – every 15 minutes.
- Schedule rest breaks throughout the work shift and provide shaded or air conditioned rest areas near the work site.
- Let new workers get used to the extreme heat, gradually increasing the work load over a week.
- When possible, schedule heavy tasks for earlier in the day.
Tell workers what to look for to spot the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke in themselves and their co-workers, and make sure they know what to do in an emergency. OSHA has fact sheets and posters that illustrate the signs of heat-related illnesses, and the steps that you can take to prevent them at your work site. Remember: water, rest, shade – the three keys to preventing heat-related illnesses in this extreme heat.”
Editor’s note: OSHA has posted educational materials about heat-related illnesses, including a curriculum for workplace training, at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html.