As you can probably tell, July and the other summer months can be extremely hot. That is why OSHA has designated July as Extreme Heat Safety Month. Heat-related illness can affect workers in many industries, both at indoor or outdoor worksites. Common heat hazard include: outdoor work in warm weather, heat sources such as ovens, fires, or hot tar, strenuous physical activity, and heavy or non-breathable work clothes. Therefore, OSHA urges employers to implement a heat illness prevention program as part of their safety and health management system to ensure that workers know what to do if someone shows any signs of heat illness.
Creation of a heat illness prevention plan can be tricky, so OSHA has outlined some common questions to consider when creating a heat plan specific to your company:
- Who will provide oversight on a daily basis?
- How will new workers gradually develop heat tolerance?
- Workers returning from extended leave (typically defined as more than two weeks) may also be at increased risk.
- What engineering controls and work practices will be used to reduce heat stress?
- How will heat stress be measured?
Along with these questions, OSHA provides more in-depth instruction on building your own heat illness prevention plan and how to implement day-to-day supervision. Ideally, the person responsible for the heat plan should be on-site where the workers are to ensure the plan is effective for their specific work environment and personnel.
To learn more about heat safety and building a heat illness prevention plan, please visit: https://www.osha.gov/heat-exposure/planning.
DII is your partner in heat safety. Our team of experts can work with you to understand the best ways to prevent heat illness in your workplace. Please contact your DII representative for more information. #HeatSafey #JulyHeat