As summer temperatures soar, people who work outside are more at-risk for heat-related illness. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding employers about the dangers of over exposure to heat.
Heat illness impacted 2,630 workers and heat stroke took the lives of 18 workers in 2014. Last year, there were eight deaths and over 200 reports of heat-related employee hospitalizations, according to OSHA.
Jobs Where Workers Are More at Risk
Certain jobs are more dangerous than others. Workers who wear bulky protective clothing like firefighters and/or perform strenuous or prolonged work in direct sunlight like landscapers and construction workers are deemed most at risk.
Other occupations prone to heat-related injuries identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and OSHA include miners, agricultural workers, boiler room workers, baggage handlers and factory workers among others.
Preventing Heat-Related Injuries
In an effort to protect workers, OSHA law stipulates that employers must provide employees safe workplaces free of known hazards, including lethal heat.
If employers hire workers who are exposed to high heat and humidity, OSHA encourages employers to take steps to protect their workers, including:
- Permit workers to seek shade and rest
- Provide employees with water
- Mandate that workers drink water every 15 minutes
- Enact emergency plans and educate workers on preventing heat-related illness
- Have employees wear light-colored clothes
- Monitor employees for signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion
- Permit new hires or returning workers to acclimate to the heat by gradually increasing their workload and taking more frequent breaks
If you suffered heat-related illness on the job, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact the experienced worker's compensation lawyers at Greg Coleman Law for a free consultation. Our team of Knoxville injury attorneys are committed to fighting for the justice and compensation you deserve.