OSHA advises workers to get ‘water, rest and shade’

By |  August 16, 2017

Photo: iStock.com/scanrail

The dog days of summer bring hot weather – and potentially dangerous working conditions. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reminds employers and workers to take precautions to stay safe before a heatwave begins.

OSHA’s message is simple: Water. Rest. Shade.

On hot days, the agency recommends frequent breaks in a cool or shady environment, and drinking water every 15 minutes. OSHA also urges employers to allow new workers to acclimate and build up resistance to the increased temperatures. A recent study of heat-related workplace fatalities found that most occurred during the worker’s first week on the job.

As part of its Heat Illness Prevention Campaign, OSHA offers on its website ideas to raise awareness of heat illness symptoms and prevention with educational and training resources in several languages. The site also links to the OSHA-National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Heat Safety Tool, an app available for iPhones and Androids.

OSHA encourages employers and safety professionals to use the site to share examples of how they are keeping workers safe in the heat. OSHA urges employers, employees and safety professionals to share their heat tips and photos on Twitter using the hashtags: #WaterRestShade and #ProTips.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA helps ensure these conditions by setting standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

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