Sacks & Zolonz, LLP class=
Serving California
Toll Free : 800-461-0268

OSHA launches heat-awareness campaign to help protect workers in record heat

As discussed in prior workers' compensation defense posts, it's extremely important for employers to implement the necessary work safety measures. Not only will this protect the health of employees, but it can also result in increased productivity and perhaps lower legal costs.

In fact, one such employer safety measure that has become glaringly obvious over the last few months is the need for a program designed to help employees - particularly those who work outdoors - beat the heat.

"July was the hottest on record in most of the U.S., and it's important for all employers and workers to be aware of this," said David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). "The symptoms of heat are often not easily recognizable."

While it may seem easy to dismiss the dangers posed by exposure to excessive heat, consider some of the following eye-opening statistics from OSHA:

  • In 2009 (the most recent year for which comprehensive data is available), 33 workers died due to heat exposure
  • The largest number of these fatalities occurred in Texas, Florida and right here in California, where the agriculture workforces are rather large

In light of these statistics and the heat wave that has engulfed much of the country, OSHA has launched a campaign designed to help raise awareness and educate employers.

"Every summer dozens of fatalities are associated with heat," said Michaels. "Water. Rest. Shade. The work can't get done without them."

In addition to water, rest and shade, OSHA is also recommending that employers consider the following:

  • Implementing a heat-related illness plan and ensuring that emergency medical services are readily available in the event an employee is stricken with a heat-related illness
  • Allowing new employees to become accustomed to the higher temperatures by slowly increasing their duties over the course of their first week
  • Scheduling heavy or particularly grueling tasks for the early morning hours when the temperatures are lower

Stay tuned for further developments in the area of workers' compensation defense law ...

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal or medical advice.

Related Resources:

MSNBC "Feeling the heat: Most dangerous summer jobs" Aug. 8, 2011

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Sacks & Zolonz, LLP
638 North Eckhoff Street
Orange, CA 92868

Toll Free: 800-461-0268
Orange Law Office Map

Sacks & Zolonz, LLP
400 Corporate Pointe, Suite 800
Culver City, CA 90230

Toll Free: 800-461-9246
Phone: 310-216-7778
Fax: 310-216-9552
Culver City Law Office Map