Especially here in Florida, days are getting hotter, and we know heat plays a significant role indehydration and other heat-stress illnesses. It is also important to know that high temperaturesare not the only cause of heat-related illnesses in the workplace. When humidity is high,someone might sweat more even if temperatures are relatively low due to physical andenvironmental risk factors. Heat-Related Illnesses are on the rise even more so now, withwearing face coverings due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), as we are getting warmer faster.
Employers have a responsibility to not only design a plan to prevent or reduce the frequency andseverity of heat illnesses, but they must also train staff on the program and ways to prevent aswell. Your working safely and avoiding heat-related illnesses training should include: HazardsCaused by working in hot weather, Identifying heat stress and symptoms, Risk Factors, Ways toprevent heat-related illnesses, and What to do when a worker is ill from the heat.
Businesses that have employees working on solo projects, including service technicians, shoulddesign a check-in plan for their workers to check in frequently throughout the day. Some of theenvironmental risk factors are working conditions that create the possibility that heat illnesscould occur, including air temperature, relative humidity, radiant heat from the sun, and othersources, workload, and personal protective equipment worn by employees.
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has created a downloadableheat stress app available in both the Apple Store and Play Store that can help both employers andemployees with planning, precautions, symptoms, and suggestions. The app also has a great toolto also set up reminders for your workers to hydrate and take breaks in shaded cool areas.
If you need assistance in developing or updating your Heat-Related Illness Prevention Policy andTraining Program or Need someone to deliver your training, please feel free to reach out today at(813) 475-5404 or Michele@mathewshrconsulting.com