As we've reported on our Georgia Workers' Compensation Attorney Blog, a 42-year-old worker was killed after he overheated on the job. It didn't even happen outside in the heat or the sun, but rather inside the plant.
But as you know, heat can affect a lot of workers, both inside and outside. And that's why officials with the United States Department of Labor have stepped up with a new Atlanta workers' compensation lawyers understand that workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress. Each and every year, there are about 30 people who are killed as a result of heat-related illnesses. As a matter of fact, workplace fatalities from heat exposure are the most common reason for a heat-related citation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Outdoor operations conducted in hot weather, such as construction, refining, asbestos removal, and hazardous waste site activities, especially those that require workers to wear semipermeable or impermeable protective clothing, are also likely to cause heat stress among exposed workers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 mandated that employers and companies not expose their workers to any environments that are hazardous or dangerous -- and fatalities and illnesses resulting from heat is governed under this clause.
When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.
And that's where the new app from OSHA comes in.
It allows employees and even supervisors to look at the dangers of the work site by helping to calculate the heat index. With this calculated index, workers and supervisors will be displayed a risk level on their job site.
Once you've got your rating, it only takes one "click" to get reminders about various steps and preventative measures that you can take to help to stay safe given conditions on the jobsite. Some of these measures can include making sure employees are getting enough rest breaks, drinking enough fluids and learning how to spot and treat a heat-related injury or illness.
Working outdoors in hot weather can result in serious illness or even death. Workers exposed to extreme heat may experience symptoms of heat-related illnesses, such as heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion and fainting.
We're already reaching temps in the 90s and that serves up some serious risks as we enter the hottest part of the summer.
Remember that, every year, thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and some even die. These illnesses and deaths are preventable. It is training and knowledge about the effects of heat, how and when to respond to symptoms and how to prevent them from occurring that's going to keep us all safe out there.
Take a minute, cool down and take a peek at this lifesaving app.
Continue reading "Warm Weather Work Injuries -- There's an App for That! " »