OSHA Warns Construction Workers About Heat
Campaign to thwart heat stroke includes smart phone app
With today's forecast high of 93 degrees in Kent, officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration encourage construction workers to keep cool and avoid heat-related illness.
Deborah Zubaty, OSHA area director in Columbus, said they continue to push OSHA's campaign to prevent heat illness when meeting with organizations, construction firms and other similar employers.
"We want them to remember three simple words: water, rest and shade," Zubaty said.
In 2010, 40 workers in the outdoor-related trades died of heat illness and another 4,100 suffered from heat exposure.
In Kent, city officials estimate more than 700 workers are employed on construction sites around the city.
"We know we have a lot of construction workers out there ... Anybody who works outside is exposed to the heat," Zubaty said.
To try and curb heat stroke, OSHA has listed a number of educational fact sheets about heat illness and how to prevent it on the agency's website.
The material includes a smartphone app for iPhones and Android mobile phones. The app lets construction formen calculate the heat index at their work site, and then based on the heat index the app displays a risk level for workers there. The app also provides tips for protective measures against the heat.
Zubaty said it's also important that workers and managers keep an eye out for symptoms of heat exhaustion, which include headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea and even collapse.
"We want to prevent heat illness," she said. "So we want to make sure the site has enough water, that they allow people to take a break and rest and get into the shade. I don’t think any employer ... wants employees exposed to heat illness."