Time to Plan and Train for Heat Illness

11 May

Depending on where you live and work, you may already have experienced warm weather, and even heat alerts. Now is the time to plan for and train your employees about heat illness.
This is a legal requirement in California, Washington and a few other states, and was the 2nd leading cause for Cal/OSHA citations in 2012.
So what do you need to know and do?
#1- have a written plan to deal with heat illness for all employees who work outside, even if they only work outside a portion of their time. #2- train employees about the risks of heat illness, how to prevent heat illness and what to do about it; #3- ensure that employees know the importance of drinking adequate amounts of water and have access to water; #4- make sure employees recognize the signs of heat illness and have shade to rest to cover from the symptoms. Encourage them to respond to any signs of heat illness; #5- have plans for how you will respond with emergency medical help for employees who suffer heat distress; and #6- make sure your managers and supervisors receive training on heat illness, the importance of water, shade, and how to respond to signs of distress.
The early days on the job, and the first days of warm weather, particularly if the humidity is high, are the most critical. Employees need to “acclimate” to the heat conditions. Almost all heat illnesses occur on the first few days of hot weather or first days on the job.
For more specific training or information, email me at DonDressler1@hotmail.com for a free copy of a power point Heat Illness training program or visit the California Department of Industrial Relations website at: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/heatillnessinfo.html

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