As many people in Aurora celebrate the coming of summer, there are some who may wonder how the sun, heat and weather this summer will affect their work. For anyone who has an outside job site, severe weather or heat can make work uncomfortable, difficult and even dangerous.
Recognizing that each year there are thousands of outdoor workers in Colorado and across the country who fall victim to heat-related illnesses, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is looking into how to keep employees safer.
Take construction workers, for example. They spend hours outside in the heat and sun with very little coverage or ability to get in the shade. On some of the worst days, what little shade is available may not be enough, and with very few opportunities to go into an air-conditioned room, some workers may suffer heat stroke or other injuries. For those who are unable to work and must take time off to recover, they can file for workers’ compensation benefits.
But, OSHA is doing more. It is educating employers about the dangers of heat, the sun and the weather. OSHA employees are also expanding beyond construction workers, targeting some of the other fields that work outdoors, such as landscapers and airport employees.
In addition to educational materials, the federal agency has created a free application for mobile devices that explains the heat index and the risk it may provide for workers. Moreover, it lists the different protections employees can take at each risk level.
Source: WEKU News, “New OSHA App meant to Keep Workers Cooler,” Stu Johnson, June 3, 2013