Every year, dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill while working in extreme heat or humid conditions. More than 40 percent of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry, but workers in every field are susceptible.
There are a range of heat illnesses and they can affect anyone, regardless of age, or physical condition. Learn valuable tips on how to protect yourself from heat-related illnesses.
The last Friday in May is National Heat Awareness Day – an event established to encourage employers and workers to recognize the warning signs for heat illness and keep workers safe.
Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards. This includes protecting workers from extreme heat.
Workers who work in hot environments indoors or outdoors, or even those engaged in strenuous physical activities, may be at risk for heat stress.
The different types of heat illness include: heat exhaustion, heat syncope, heat cramps, heat rashes, and heat stroke. Heat can also increase workers’ risk of injuries, as it may result in sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, dizziness, and may reduce brain function responsible for reasoning ability, creating additional hazards.