Try this toolbox talk with your team this summer! (Available in English and Spanish)
As I write, much of the nation has been suffering under an oppressive "heat dome." In the West, temperatures are breaking 100 on a daily basis; in the East and Midwest, we are seeing mercury above 90 accompanied by dangerous levels of humidity.
It's basic physics: when air temperatures climb above body temperatures, it's hard for your body's natural cooling system to work. If you are working outside -- or have employees who are -- it's time to take precautions. Employers should provide workers shaded or cooled recovery areas, plenty of fresh water, and frequent breaks. Starting work early in the morning can help. And today there are all sorts of products, such as misters and cooling vests, that can reduce the stresses weather imposes on outside workers. For more ideas, check out the Heat Exposure entry at CPWR's Construction Solutions website.
Light, loose-fitting clothing can protect you from excessive sun -- and from insect bites at the same time. They aren't just a summertime annoyance, but can spread serious disease. In the Northeast and Midwest, biting deer ticks concealed in the brush and tall grass can infect you with Lyme Disease. If you are bitten, see a doctor. The symptoms may not appear immediately, but without a proper diagnosis and antibiotics, you can suffer permanent damage to your joints.
The wild card for 2016 is the mosquito-borne Zika virus. The Zika epidemic has spread across much of Latin America and has now reached Florida. OSHA and NIOSH have prepared an interim guidance urging employers to provide outdoor workers with insect repellent and to remove any standing water (where mosquitoes can breed) from jobsites. Workers who are pregnant or may become pregnant should take special precautions, as the virus is linked to serious birth defects.
Keep cool, keep covered, and keep safe.
August 30 @ 2:00pm (ET), 30 min. --Health and Safety Risk Reduction Using Pre-fabricated Concrete Formwork Systems
Building traditional concrete formwork in construction can present many health and safety hazards. Fortunately, pre-engineered and pre-fabricated formwork systems can mitigate many of these risks. Join us for a brief webinar to learn about pre-fabricated concrete formwork systems and how easy it is to search for these control options in our free-to-use resource, the CPWR Construction Solutions database website. CLICK TO REGISTER
CPWRIN PRINT Recently Published Journal Articles by CPWR Scholars
CPWR -- The Center for Construction Research and Training is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by North America's Building Trades Unions, AFL-CIO. Working with partners like you in business, labor, government, and the universities, we strive every day to make work safer for the ten million men and women who work in the U.S. construction industry!
CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, 8484 Georgia Ave. #1000, Silver Spring, MD 20910