Employers owe their workers a duty of care, concerning the fact that they are supposed to ensure their safety on the job. In an early June 2017 issue of OSHA QuickTakes, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration asked employers to explain how they keep their workers safe from extreme heat. We will share some of the responses with you as a way to understand what is expected in the workplace to keep workers safe.
Various Ways Employers Work to Keep Employees Safe From the Heat
Ballard Marine Construction: This contractor who serves clients in a variety of industries like nuclear, hydroelectric, salvage, and more sets up portable shade canopies as a way to keep employees safe. Workers are covered with a fine spray of water throughout the day under these canopies. In the coolest temperatures, workers can choose to use misting fans.
Granite Construction: This is one of the largest construction companies in the U.S. and implemented many methods to ensure worker safety. They use canopies for shade, equip workers with cooling neck towels, shades that attach to the back of their hard hats, and monitor the heat on the OSHA heat safety app. They also train their workers on safety in a workplace with excessive heat.
Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries: Lastly, this company in Illinois uses a buddy system to help workers spot the symptoms of heat illness and report it to employers. They have implemented breaks, provide earlier shifts, and give employees drinks throughout the day.
The symptoms of heat illness are not always recognized the moment they set in. This is why many employers believe that it is a good idea to implement a buddy system so that workers can keep an eye out. You can suffer from a variety of heat-related illnesses, like heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat rash. The symptoms for each are all very different from one another such as confusion, seizures, fainting, excessive sweating, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, fast heartbeat, muscle spasms, pain, and more. Noticing these symptoms can save a life.
Especially during the summer months, heat illness on the job is a very real concern that plagues many workplaces. This is why it is essential to understand what you should do if you believe you or someone else is suffering. If you have received a heat-related illness on the job and you believe negligence was at play, give us a call today. We can help you understand your claim and next steps.