Temperatures in some California cities have already reached into the triple digits. As such, the state is reminding everyone to be prepared for heat related illnesses, including businesses. The possibility of a job site accident could be increased by an employee that has become overheated.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cautioned businesses to be sure they continue to provide a safe workplace for all of their employees. For those in construction, it can be difficult to protect workers from the heat since a good portion of their work is outdoors. However, that doesn’t mean that employers can’t give their workers the proper training, equipment and supplies to stay safe in the heat.
California Heat Illness Prevention requires certain things from all employers who have employees that work outdoors. Employees are to be trained how to prevent and recognize heat illnesses. Ample fresh water should also be supplied to every employee, along with a shady place to cool down when an employee becomes too hot. Training regarding what to do for someone who does get sick is also essential.
OSHA and our state are telling businesses to do everything they can to avoid a heat related job site accident. Not only can a heat related illness itself cause death or injury to a worker, but also someone that is overheated may not be as careful as they ordinarily would be otherwise. Employees could easily become injured or killed by falling or improperly handling equipment while overheated. Any employee who does become overheated and contracts a heat related illness may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits as he or she recovers from an injury.
Source: Lake County News, “State emergency, health officials urge Californians to prepare for extreme heat,” June 6, 2013