By Donna McEntee
As the mercury rises, it’s time to ensure you and your staff stay safe. Every year, thousands of workers suffer from heat-related illness; in 2014 alone 18 US workers died from heat stroke. These illnesses and deaths are preventable.
OSHA’s WATER. REST. SHADE. campaign aims to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities that occur from heat-related illness. OSHA offers a Heat Safety Tool for iPhone and Android devices. The app gives workers a way to quickly understand their risk levels and the necessary precautions they should take. Tell your employees about the app and encourage them to download it.
Skillsoft wants to help make sure that all your employees who work in roles that may be impacted by high temperatures (and staff who manage workers in those roles) are trained to recognize and prevent heat sickness. We offer these suggestions in addition to the precautions that OSHA has available to help save lives:
- Drink small amounts of water frequently, even if you are not thirsty.
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing—cotton is good.
- Take frequent short breaks in cool shade.
- Eat smaller meals before work activity.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol or large amounts of sugar.
- Work in the shade when possible.
- Ask your health care provider or pharmacist if heat can cause reactions or side effects from any medications you are taking.
- Know that equipment such as respirators or other protective equipment can increase heat stress.
- Learn the signs and symptoms of heat illnesses and what to do in an emergency.
- Keep an eye on co-workers to make sure they do not display signs of heat sickness.
Skillsoft provides a complete collection of training materials on safety and health topics, including training on heat stress recognition and prevention and first aid. To learn more about how Skillsoft’s training helps create safe workplaces, visit our website: http://www.skillsoftcompliance.com/
Donna McEntee is Environmental, Safety, and Health Solution Manager at Skillsoft.