In May, U.S. cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Houston experienced 90°+ temperatures for days on end. Those of us outside the Southwest can expect to see the mercury rising this month. The heat is on, and it's time for those of us who work outdoors to think about heat safety.
On May 22, OSHA kicked off its annual effort to fight heat illness, reminding employers that they have the power to prevent thousands of cases of heat exhaustion (and even save dozens of lives!) this summer by offering employees periodic water, rest and shade breaks.
Meanwhile, CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training provides free online access to critical resources workers and employers can use to stay safe during the summer heat. You can find them in three different online homes:
1. At www.cpwr.com you can find a simple and straightforward toolbox talk on preventing heat illness. It's a printable, two-sided document with a graphic illustration on the front and a short, interactive script on the back. A presenter can hold the graphic up for view while referring to the notes. (While you are there, check out some of the other 52 topics in the toolbox talks series!)
3. And in eLCOSH, the electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety and Health, we have collected dozens of items from a variety of sources addressing heat exposure, from OSHA's Quick Card on Heat Stress to a Heat Training Guide produced by the Labor Occupational Health Program at UC Berkeley. (When you've consulted eLCOSH on heat you can search for other resources, narrowing by job site, hazard, trade or all three.)
Keep cool out there!
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CPWR -- The Center for Construction Research and Training is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO. Working with partners like you in business, labor, government, and the universities, we strive every day to make work safer for the 9 million men and women who work in the U.S. construction industry!