Summer weather is here and so is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration‘s (OSHA) outreach program to help to raise awareness about the risks of working in the heat. The program is used to help to teach workers and employers and the dangers they face while working outside in the hot, hot weather. This year’s program is building on last year’s campaign. Too much sun and too much heat on the job can equate to work-related injuries in Atlanta and elsewhere.
“For outdoor workers, ‘water, rest and shade’ are three words that can make the difference between life and death,” Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said.
Our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys understand that there are simple safety steps that employers can take to help to keep workers safe and to prevent heat-related injuries. Each year, there are thousands of employees across the U.S. who are injured on the job by the summer heat. If these injuries are not quickly recognized and addressed, heat exhaustion can quickly turn to heat stroke, which can kill a person. Each year, about 30 workers have died because of these injuries since 2003. There are a number of job positions that can be affected by the summer’s heat. Everyone is warned!
Labor-intensive jobs face some of the most serious risks. When the body temperature rises beyond normal temps, sweating just won’t cut it. Heat illness can start as heat cramps or even heat rash, but within no time it can turn into heat exhaustion and then into heat stroke if no one around knows how to spot and treat the illness.
Some of the most common occupations affected by heat-related work injuries include landscapers, baggage handlers, farmers, construction workers, roadside workers, roofers, utility workers, etc. Employees are urged to drink plenty of water throughout the job and to take frequent breaks in the shade to stay cool and to avoid one of these injuries.
OSHA is releasing heat illness materials in both Spanish and English to help to spread the word. The Administration is also releasing materials to help employers to properly train employees on how to spot and deal with these kinds of accidents.
How to Prevent Heat-Related Illness:
-Three words: Water. Rest. Shade.
-Drink plenty of water during your shift.
-Take plenty of breaks.
-Take your breaks in the shade and work in the shade when possible.
-Start heavy work in the morning when it’s cooler out.
-Employers should share precautions with all employees prior to the summer season.
-Workers should be acclimated to the weather. Never throw a new worker right into the heat.
-Train employees to spot symptoms of heat-related illnesses as well as what do when these symptoms are spotted.
-Plan for an emergency and know what to do. Acting quickly can save lives!
If you, a coworker or a family member has been injured or killed in a work-related accident in Atlanta or in any of the surrounding areas, contact your Georgia Worker’s Compensation Attorneys at J. Franklin Burns, P.C. to set up a free and confidential appointment to discuss your case. Call 404-303-7770.
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