Week 3 (June 18-24) of National Safety Month is taking a closer look into heat-related issues as we dive deeper into the hot summer months. This week covers many different topics like: how to read the UV index, keeping older adults safe in the heat, First Aid for heat illness, the best ways to stay hydrated, and how to work safely in the heat. All of these topics are applicable both in the workplace and off-the-job to keep you and those around you safe. 

Since 2017, weather events have increased 7% likely due to global warming and has subsequently increased weather-related deaths to over 35%. In 2021, 61,105 weather events caused 974 deaths and 1,667 injuries. The weather events that were the leading cause of death included winter weather, heat, and floods. Furthermore, heat-related illnesses accounted for 783 worker deaths and about 70,000 serious injuries in the U.S. from 1992 to 2016.

Every year, millions of U.S. workers are exposed to dangerous heat levels in the workplace, causing heat sickness and fatal accidents even though heat-related illnesses are preventable. Working in a hot environment can trigger ailments like heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke which is considered a major medical emergency. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include feeling faint or dizzy, excessive sweating, cool, pale, or clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, rapid or weak pulse, and muscle cramps. Workers who are experiencing heat exhaustion need to get to a cool, air-conditioned place. If fully conscious, they should drink water, take a cool shower, and use a cold compress. Workers with heat stroke may experience a headache but no sweating and have a body temperature above 103° F. Call 911 if a case of heatstroke is suspected, then take action to cool the worker until help arrives.

To help prevent these heat-related illnesses before signs start presenting: drink water every 15 minutes, take rest breaks in the shade to cool down, wear a hat and light-colored clothing, and monitor co-workers for symptoms for the duration of the outdoor work.

To learn more about how to reduce preventable heat-related illnesses at your workplace or at home, reach out to an agent at Diversified, or visit https://www.nsc.org/workplace/national-safety-month/nsm-public-materials/week-3-public-materials

DII is your partner in workplace safety. Our team of experts can work with you to understand the best plans and lessons to prepare your employees for working in the heat. Please contact your DII representative for more information. #heat #illnesses #summer #NSC #NSM

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