For your employees who work outdoors, heat can be more than just uncomforatable, it can be a real danger during the summer when temperatures in our area soar into the 90s.
During 2011, as a record heat wave swept much of the nation this summer, the season's hazardous hot weather caused the U.S. Labor Secretary to issue a warning to employers about protecting their workers .
In addition, recognizing the threat of high heat to workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rolled out a national outreach initiative to educate employers as well as workers regarding the health hazards of working outdoors in the heat. OSHA has outlining steps needed to recognize and prevent heat illnesses. The OSHA website includes segments containing resources, educational material and much more to allow you as an employer to raise the awareness of your workforce when it comes to the dangers and how to cope with the extreme heat of summer.
OSHA reports that, each year, thousands of outdoor workers encounter heat illness as they do their jobs. As an employer, you want to protect your employees against possible injury and danger; so you will want to educate them to avoid heat-related illness which often manifests as heat exhaustion. Heat Stroke can quick follow heat exhaustion if it is not handled promptly. Heat stroke was responsible for the death of 30 workers in 2010.
Check out this video in which OSHA boss, David Michaels warns workers that "Drinking water often, taking breaks, and limiting time in the heat are simple, effective ways to prevent heat illness."
During the summer of 2011, both employers and employees took advantage of a new resource in the form of Weather Service Alerts issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)in partnership with OSHA. These alerts provided worker safety precautions and were made available when heat alerts were issued across the U.S. Pertinent worker safety information may be found on NOAA’s Heat Watch Web page.
You, as a responsible employer, certainly strive to see that your employees are protected in your workplace. Part of that effort should be to ensure that you have the proper insurance coverage to assist with any claims, should illness or injury occur. In the face of threats to your employees’ health and safety such as the environmental danger from extreme heat, we here at the Henry A. Latimer & Son Inc. urge you take a moment to review your company’s insurance package in terms of Workers' Compensation and related policies so that you are prepared before you need it. We welcome your questions and would be glad to help you review your insurance policy at your convenience.