Preparing for the Heat: Why Every Employee Needs OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool

The warmest season of the year is in full force, so employees working in the heat need to be extra careful. In the last couple of years, temperatures have risen to record levels in many areas, meaning it’s more important than ever to keep close tabs on outdoor conditions.

Thankfully, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have developed a quick and easy way to monitor rising temperatures — the heat safety tool. Available for download on Android and iPhone, this app can literally be a lifesaver.

3 Reasons Employees Must Download OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool

The app offers the following benefits:

1. Calculate worksite heat index.

2. Find out the risk level for outdoor workers.

3. Learn how to stay safe in the current risk level — e.g., adjust work hours, take breaks in shaded areas, tips to handle an emergency.

Heat Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility

Working in the heat isn’t just uncomfortable, it can also be very dangerous. Both employers and workers need to understand the risks associated with high temperatures, and know how to reduce their chance of developing illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

According to OSHA, working in full sunlight can raise heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit, which is quite significant. Alarmingly, dozens of workers die and thousands fall ill while laboring in extreme heat or humidity. The construction industry accounts for more than 40% of heat-related deaths, but everyone working in these conditions is at risk. Workers of all ages and physical conditions need to be careful, because excess heat puts a serious strain on the body.

As an employer, the last thing you want is for a worker to develop a heat-related illness or tragically die from overexposure. OSHA law requires you to provide employees with a safe workplace — including one that protects people from extreme heat — so do your part to help your team stay cool this summer.

Check the MAC Incorporated blog for regular OSHA updates. Safety is the top priority at our niche-based recruiting and staffing firm. If you’re searching for industry-leading engineering, maintenance, and operations management professionals you can trust, contact us today!