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OSHA Safe & Sound Week 2020 – August 10-16

 

8/10/2020

This week is Safe + Sound Week, a nationwide event held each August and sponsored by the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA). Its aim is to highlight successful safety and health programs as a measure to “proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, improving sustainability and the bottom line.” The goal of the weeklong campaign is to encourage employers to get such programs started or energize those company’s with existing programs to provide an opportunity to recognize safety success.

As we all know, proactively identifying workplace hazards is key to keeping the workforce safe and better in the long run than reacting to a safety hazard in play. The Portacool team is particularly focused on helping companies become more prepared when it comes to worker heat safety.

According to OSHA, thousands of workers become sick from occupational heat exposure each year. However, heat-related illnesses are preventable. “The best way to prevent heat-related illness is to make the work environment cooler,” OSHA states.

Given that most heat-related health problems can be prevented, or at least the risk of developing them can be reduced, taking a proactive approach gives two-fold benefits. By introducing a heat awareness plan, you will effectively ensure worker safety and in-turn, increase productivity. Both will positively benefit the company’s bottom-line.

Preventative tips from Portacool for the jobsite and hot working environments

  1. Acclimating workers is a necessary process even if it seems counterintuitive to generating productivityPortacool Portable Evaporative Conditioners (e.g., a reduced work shift during excessive heat). An effective heat acclimatization program gradually increases an unacclimated worker’s exposure to heat over a 7- to 14-day period.
  2. Make sure to have plenty of fluids on hand. Workers need ample water throughout the day while working in hot conditions and shouldn’t wait until they feel thirsty. Ideally, workers should consume water approximately every 15 minutes.
  3. Schedule rest breaks to help your body recover. OSHA advises workers to rest in the shade or in air-conditioning when possible to help cool down. Utilize or add cooling stations on worksites when possible with tools such as a portable evaporative cooler that work on a standard 110-V electricity supply and do not require an enclosed room like air conditioning.
  4. Stay aware of conditions with your phone or tablet, especially if working outdoors. Working in full sunlight can increase heat index* values by 15°F. OSHA has an app (download info here) to help calculate the heat index for the worksite and helps to identify the risk level.
  5. Be sure workers are informed by regularly reviewing the heat illness signs and symptoms. Training is this area is worthwhile.
  6. Use a buddy system. Encourage workers to monitor each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.

*For more information about safety while working in the heat, see OSHA’s heat illness webpage and online guidance page for employers that outlines how to use the heat index to protect workers.

DON'T WORK HOT

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