‘Water, rest and shade’ are the three key components U.S Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis, will be focusing on promoting to outdoor workers in the upcoming summer of 2012. It’s all part of OSHA’s recently launched national outreach initiative to raise awareness over the dangers of working outside in hot weather.
Every year, heat exhaustion reaches thousands of outdoor workers in industries such as roofing, construction, transportation, utilities, and landscaping, to name a few. While onsite, what employees may initially discover with simple heat rashes and cramps can often result in severe heat stroke or even fatality.
Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, says these are workplace hazards that can be easily avoided with simple precautions. “Anyone who works outside is at risk”, adds Michaels, “Drinking plenty of water and taking frequent breaks in cool, shaded areas are incredibly important in the hot summer months.” To add to this awareness, OSHA has developed heat illness educational materials in English and Spanish, as well as a curriculum to be used for workplace training to provide more knowledge to employees who are at risk.