According to information from the CDC, over 8,000 heat-related deaths were reported in a period of ten years. Not surprisingly, 94% of those deaths happened from May to September, with 39% happening in July alone. With high temperatures again gripping much of the country this week, employers around the country are looking for ways to keep their workers safe.
OSHA recently shared a few case studies as part of their ongoing “Water. Shade. Rest.” campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of heat-related illness when on the job. The case studies offered some practical ways to protect workers.
- Cooling stations — Ballard Marine Construction sets up shade canopies outside their operations control vans that they’ve outfitted with water misters. These misters are installed into the ceiling of the tents and offer a place for workers to cool off in the shade.
- Hard hat inserts and adjusted schedules — Baker roofing provides it’s roofing crews with cooling hard hat inserts and modifies worker schedules to allow them to end work at 2:00. Job sites are equipped with water coolers and shade tents with misters.
- Low tech and high tech solutions — Granite Construction company provides several ways for its workers to stay cool on job sites. They offer workers cooling towels and neck shades that fit onto the back of construction helmets. Each job site also has a sun canopy to offer workers a cool place to step out of the sun when they need it. The OSHA-NIOSH heat safety app is also monitored with recommendations from the app implemented on the job sites.
With some forethought and planning, construction companies can take steps to reduce the chances of worker developing heat related illnesses. During hot weather, extra care is needed for your crews spending most of the day outdoors. For more ideas as well as a list of resources, check out one of our previous posts on heat safety.