The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), Silver Spring, Maryland, recently published a new hazard alert that addresses heat hazards and the best methods to prevent illness and injury while working in hot weather.
As part of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) cooperative programs to provide safety and health resources, the alert recommends workers and employers protect themselves by doing the following:
dress for hot conditions by wearing clothes that are light-colored, loose-fitting and lightweight;
drinking water every 15 minutes in hot conditions. The alert also suggests employers provide roughly four cups of cool, clean water for each worker every hour; and
taking breaks in shaded, cooled or air-conditioned areas.
Additionally, the alert explains what to look for as signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Symptoms of heat stroke include confusion or fainting, dry and hot skin and convulsions or seizures, and symptoms of heat exhaustion include weakness and wet skin, headache, dizziness or fainting and nausea or vomiting.
According to the CPWR website, 17 construction workers died from heat stroke in 2015; OSHA also reported that thousands of workers suffer illness due to heat-related causes every year.
The hazard alert, along with other educational resources and tools, are available for download here.