Excessive heat conditions can be extremely dangerous for both indoor and outdoor employees. Unfortunately, severe heat conditions can cause a multitude of heat-related illnesses and fatalities. According to OSHA, employers are responsible for providing safety from known risk factors – and this includes protecting workers from extreme heat.
Knowing the risk factors, creating an emergency plan, and developing a prevention plan for heat-related illnesses is vital for keeping your employees safe (and cool!) in very hot conditions. Heat-related illnesses and fatalities are preventable when the right training and workplace practices are put into place.
Recognize Heat-Related Illnesses
Heat-related illnesses can take the form of heat stroke, heat rashes, heat cramps, and heat exhaustion. Be mindful of symptoms such as fainting, excessive sweating, nausea or vomiting, lightheadedness, and more. Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat-related illnesses. If an employee is exhibiting signs of heat stroke, call 911 immediately. For more information about heat-related illnesses, visit OSHA’s website.
Create an Emergency Plan
It’s important to have an emergency plan in place for heat-related illnesses and extreme heat exposure. Emergency plans should be incorporated into staff training sessions and workplace practices so your employees know what to do should an emergency arise. We recommend working with expert professionals, like our team at EHS Management, who can help you design an emergency plan that’s catered to your company’s needs.
Develop a Prevention Plan
Lastly, creating a prevention plan will help keep your employees safe from extreme heat exposure and heat sickness. The prevention procedures you design could involve anything from improving ventilation and air conditioning systems in the workplace to frequently monitoring employees for signs of heat-related illnesses. We recommend implementing new practices and standards that require employees to drink more water, take more frequent breaks, and speak up if they’re not feeling well.
We suggest working with a professional company like EHS Management to help you create or update your health-related illness prevention plan. For more information or to request your free consultation, please fill out our online form or call us directly at 715-551-9503 with any questions.