On August 1, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will update Form I-9, Employment…
OSHA has issued a heat hazard alert to remind employers of their obligation to protect workers against heat illness or injury in outdoor and indoor workplaces.
The department has made an announcement that OSHA will be stepping up its enforcement measures in areas where workers are prone to heat-related dangers. This will involve heightened inspections in industries with high risks like agriculture and construction. The implementation of these actions will complete the Heat National Emphasis Program, which was announced last year. The program aims to concentrate enforcement measures in geographic areas and industries with the highest concentration of vulnerable workers.
Defining “Extreme” Temperatures
In order to understand just how extreme your workplace temperatures can get, OSHA will conduct an audit using heat stress monitors. These monitors not only measure temperature, but also humidity, radiating heat, and air circulation. The effect of these factors combined and their effect on your workers’ ability to maintain a healthy body temperature is how OSHA determines extreme temperatures.
Trouble starts to occur once your body temperature reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and can cause your workers to perform inadequately. Extreme consequences and hefty fines can occur if you are found to be in violation of OSHA’s temperature regulations, so it’s important to be vigilant.
The Warning Signs
Heat stress can be defined as the amount of heat your body is subjected to, either from your own body or an external heat source. There can have multiple stages of severity that you can fully recover from, but they are vital symptoms to recognize:
- Heat rash
Heat stroke is the worst-case scenario and can cause grave consequences if not treated immediately. Once suffered, you will forever be susceptible to the mildest effects of heat. The best proactive measure is knowledge. Here you can learn the warning signs and the most effective procedures to assist a victim affected by heat stress-related illnesses.
It is essential to ensure that both supervisors and workers undergo training to detect the signs of heat stress in victims and understand the various levels of its severity.. In addition to studying related symptoms, they should also know the correct procedures.
Protecting Yourself and Your Workers
To safeguard yourself and your employees from the scorching heat, it’s crucial to ensure that your HVAC system and ventilation are regularly maintained, have fans and plenty of water readily accessible, and provide comfortable rest areas for outdoor workers. Additionally, if possible without compromising safety, OSHA recommends adopting a summer dress code that includes loose and lightweight clothing. For outside workers, OSHA recommends starting the workday as early as possible to reduce sun exposure.
You can never be too safe. At Delta Administrative Services, we can help you reduce your risk and remove liability. To make absolutely sure that you’re in compliance with OSHA’s regulations this summer, let us perform a mock audit. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help!