STAYING SAFE WHILE WORKING IN EXTREME HEAT
Although heat related illnesses and deaths are preventable, unfortunately our firm has interviewed a number of workers suffering from long term effects of extreme heat exposure. With the rebuilding of homes and businesses in our area well underway following Hurricane Michael, more and more workers in the construction industry find themselves in harm’s way as the temperatures have risen and stay high throughout our summer months. And, it’s not just the presence of heat. The loss of so many of our trees has eliminated the refuge shade normally available making it hard to find relief.
For employers, preventing heat related illnesses in your workers should be part of your organization’s wellness plan. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) offers posters, infographics, facts sheets, and even an App that can easily be shared with employees. Implementing a prevention plan and educating workers about the symptoms and dangers of heat related illnesses is the key to safety.
The Heat Safety Tool App (created by OSHA and NIOSH) is available in the App Store or Google Play. It features a visual indicator of the heat index and association risk, recommendations for those risks, and signs and symptoms and first aid information for heat related illnesses. For more information about heat stress and workplace safety visit www.cdc.gov/NIOSH/topics/heatstress.
Heat related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion are covered under workers’ compensation insurance. In more severe exposure cases, these illnesses can cause permanent problems. If you have questions about a work related heat illnesses, our attorneys are available to help. You can call us for a free consultation at (850) 785-4442