Many employers are not aware that every year, thousands of workers become sick from heat exposure, and some even die. Many employers are also not aware that they are responsible for providing workplaces that are safe from excessive heat.
During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating isn’t enough for the body to cool itself off. Body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if precautions are not taken such as drinking water frequently and resting in the shade or air conditioning. Heat illnesses range from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention and can result in death.
Employers should establish a complete heat illness prevention program and incorporate it within their regular employee training to prevent heat exposure illness. This may include: providing workers with water, rest and shade; gradually increasing workloads and allowing more frequent breaks for new workers or workers who have been away for a week or more to build a tolerance for working in the heat; modifying work schedules as necessary; planning for emergencies and training workers about the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and their prevention; and monitoring workers for signs of illness.
For more info or for help starting a heat illness prevention program, contact Alternative HR today!