Human Capital HEAT STRESS. Who is affected? What is heat illness? How can heat illness be prevented?

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1 Human Capital The Risk Management Learning Center JUNE 2014 EDITION HEAT STRESS Who is affected? Any worker exposed to hot and humid conditions are at risk of heat illness, especially those doing heavy work tasks or using bulky protective clothing and equipment. Some workers might be at greater risk than others if they have not built up a tolerance to hot conditions. Occupations most affected by heat-related illness are: construction, trade/transportation/utility, agriculture and building/grounds maintenance and cleaning. Other workers who may be affected by exposure to environmental heat include those in transportation/baggage handling, water transportation; landscaping services; greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture production; and support activities for oil and gas operations. What is heat illness? The body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating isn't enough. Body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if precautions are not taken. Heat illnesses range from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention and can result in death. How can heat illness be prevented? Employers are responsible for providing workplaces that are safe from excessive heat. Employers should provide workers with water, rest and shade; should gradually increase workloads and allow more frequent breaks for new workers or workers who have been away for a week or more to build a tolerance for working in the heat (acclimatization); and should educate workers about the symptoms heat-related illnesses and their prevention. Employers should also include the steps to prevent heat illness in worksite training and plans as well as what to do in an emergency. Acting quickly can save lives! OSHA's key pieces of advice for workers are: Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you're not thirsty. Rest in the shade to cool down. Wear a hat and light-colored clothing. Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency. Keep an eye on fellow workers. Remember these three simple words: Water, Rest, Shade. Taking these precautions can mean the difference between life and death.

2 Water. Rest. Shade. These will mean the difference between life and death. In addition, building tolerance to working in the heat (acclimatization) is essential to prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths especially for new workers or those who have been away for a week or more, but for all workers during a heat wave. This means employers must provide time for workers to adjust to the heat- gradually increasing the workload and providing appropriate water, rest and shade. Planning, communicating and implementing an appropriate work/rest schedule depending on the heat index and level of physical exertion is an important part of working in the heat, especially during acclimatization and during heat waves. OSHA's Using the Heat Index: A Guide for Employers has more information on acclimating and work/rest schedules. Water should be provided nearby and workers should drink it about every 15 minutes, even if not thirsty. Rest should be in the shade or air conditioning to cool the body down. Appropriate clothing helps, such as a hat and/or light-colored clothing. Knowing the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses, keeping an eye on workers, and having an emergency plan are very important to save lives. Source: https://www.osha.gov/sltc/heatillness/index.html Human Capital LLC 2055 Crooks Road Level B Rochester Hills, MI Phone : Fax: Disclaimer: Material and information has been prepared for information purposes only. This is not legal advice. Before acting on any basis of any information or materials, participants who have specific questions or problems should consult their lawyer.

3 Daily Checklist Daily Checklist This is a helpful guide that you may choose to use before each workday. Checklist Water Shade Training Emergencies Worker Reminders Is there plenty of fresh, cool drinking water located as close as possible to the workers? Are water coolers refilled throughout the day? Is there shade available for breaks and if workers need to recover? Do workers know the: Common signs and symptoms of heat illness? Proper precautions to prevent heat illness? Importance of acclimatization? Importance of drinking water frequently (even when they are not thirsty)? Steps to take if someone is having symptoms? Does everyone know who to notify if there is an emergency? Can workers explain their location if they need to call an ambulance? Does everyone know who will provide first aid? Drink water often Rest in the shade Report heat symptoms early Know what to do in an emergency

4 OSHA Fact Sheets and Posters OSHA Publications attached are: OSHA Heat Safety Fact Sheet, Publication #3422; English OSHA Heat Safety Fact Sheet, Publication #3423; Spanish OSHA Worksite Poster, Publication #3431; English OSHA Worksite Poster, Publication #3432; Spanish OSHA Community Poster, Publication #3435; English OSHA Community Poster, Publication #3436; Spanish

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