Beat Heat Stress this Summer

The Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS) of the Division of Industrial Relations is urging Nevada employers to establish and implement a heat illness prevention program as the temperatures in Nevada begin to rise.

Every year, thousands of workers suffer from serious heat-related illnesses. If not quickly treated, heat exhaustion can become heat stroke, killing an average of 30 workers annually since 2003, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

In conjunction with the Department of Labor’s national outreach campaign, SCATS is reminding employers and workers that heat-related illness is preventable by following three simple steps: water, rest and shade.

Heat related illness can be prevented by following a few simple measures:

  • Drink Water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty
  • Rest in the shade to cool down
  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing
  • Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency
  • Keep an eye on fellow workers
  • “Easy does it” on your first days of work in the heat

 

Outdoor operations conducted in hot weather and direct sun, such as farm work, construction, oil and gas well operations, asbestos removal, landscaping, emergency response operations, and hazardous waste site activities, also increase the risk of heat-related illness in exposed workers.

OSHA has developed heat illness educational material in English and Spanish, as well as a curriculum to be used for workplace training. Additionally, a web page provides information and resources on heat illness – including how to prevent it and what to do in case of an emergency – for workers and employers. For more information or resources, visit http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html.

The heat index, which takes both temperature and humidity into account, is a useful tool for outdoor workers and employers (see Using the Heat Index: A Guide for Employers).

Employers and employees can also access the free education and consultation services provided by SCATS that focus on the prevention of workplace injury and illness. To learn more about SCATS services, please visit http://4safenv.state.nv.us.