Dublin, California (EastBayDaily) — The OSHA Training Center at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District has announced the launch of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's annual Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers. Industries such as agriculture, construction, landscaping and transportation employ thousands of seasonal workers every year who face a high risk of heat-related illness. OSHA's primary goals are to raise awareness among workers and employers about the dangers of working in hot weather and to provide resources and guidance to address heat-related hazards.
"Thousands of employees become sick each year from working in the heat," said Julia Dozier, Director of the OSHA Training Center at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District. "31 heat-related worker deaths and 4,120 heat-related worker illnesses were recorded by OSHA in 2012. We want to remind employers that they can save lives and prevent heat-related illness by following a few basic steps, including scheduling frequent water breaks, providing shade and allowing ample time to rest."
Heat illness disproportionately affects new and temporary workers as well as anyone who has not built up a tolerance to heat. Acclimatization, which allows workers to gradually build their heat tolerance, is a critical part of preventing heat illnesses and fatalities. Labor-intensive activities in hot weather can raise body temperatures beyond the level that normally can be cooled by sweating. Heat illness initially may manifest as heat rash or heat cramps, but can quickly escalate to heat exhaustion and heat stroke if simple preventative measures are not followed.
OSHA has released a free application for both Android and iPhone mobile devices that enables workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their worksites. By combining both temperature and humidity into a single value, the heat index is a better measure than air temperature alone for estimating the risk to workers from environmental heat sources. The free mobile app, available in both English and Spanish, displays a risk level for workers based on the heat index, as well as reminders about protective measures that should be taken at that risk level.
The OSHA Training Center's Heat Illness Prevention webpage features a variety of free heat-related illness resources, including training materials, a supervisor's daily checklist and worker fact sheets on heat illness prevention.
About the OSHA Training Center
The OSHA Training Center at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District offers high quality Occupational Safety & Health Administration standards-based training for construction, maritime, and general industry at its Center in Dublin, California, as well as locations throughout California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and Guam. Programs offered include OSHA safety standards, Outreach Trainer courses, Cal/OSHA standards curriculum, environmental courses and customized onsite safety training. For more information, including a complete course schedule, visit the OSHA Training Center website or call (866) 936-OSHA (6742).