Heat can be a real danger for workers during the summer, especially those who work outdoors with temperatures into the 90's. So, for your employees – especially those who work outdoors -- summer heat is not only uncomfortable, it can be down right dangerous.
Recognizing the immediate threat, OSHA is currently promoting a national outreach initiative to educate workers and employers about the hazards of working outdoors in the heat and steps needed to recognize and prevent heat illnesses. The simple message: "water, rest, and shade." Their website includes segments with resources, educational material and much more for you to use to make your workforce aware of the dangers and how to cope with the extreme heat this summer.
As an employer, you want to protect your employees against possible injury and danger; so you will want to educate them to avoid heat-related illness. OSHA reports that, each year, thousands of outdoor workers encounter heat illness as they do their jobs, and it often manifests as heat exhaustion. Heat Stroke can quick follow heat exhaustion if it is not handled promptly. Heat stroke was responsible for the death of 30 workers last year.
As a business owner, you know the effect workers’ injury and illness can have on your business productivity and bottom line. Perhaps you also know that putting in place the right workplace safety program can help to mitigate the risk and expense and help to hold down work-related injuries and illness and thus minimize the cost of your workers compensation coverage at the same time. This is especially true since a large part of your premium for workers comp insurance is based upon claim frequency.
The safety program you implement should comply with the Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA). Why is this important? Because insurance carriers typically have an interest in how effective and comprehensive your workplace safety program is as they decide whether to provide your coverage. If you need help with compliance, OSHA can provide information, consultation and/or training as needed.