Employees face new hazards during the hotter months, but luckily, there are ways to ensure they stay healthy and safe.
The summer is a great time to schedule vacations, show off your barbecuing prowess and enjoy a day on the beach.
But the summer can also complicate life for people working outdoors, whether by increasing the chances of heat-related illnesses or by forcing workers to fend off virulent pests like ticks and mosquitoes.
Read on for five best practices to beat the heat and keep your worksite and employees safe this summer.
- Provide Ample Shade and Water as Temperatures Rise Outside
During the summer months, people are at a much greater risk of experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stroke. And these aren’t minor illnesses—heat stroke can compromise and even kill parts of the central nervous system.
The ubiquity of this issue hasn’t fully translated to OSHA ordinances, though. In fact, as of this writing, there is no permanent OSHA standard when it comes to handling environmental heat. There is currently a National Emphasis Program in effect for outdoor and indoor heat-related hazards, but it only lasts for three years after implementation, which was on April 8, 2022.
Without a permanent standard, OSHA officers can’t issue citations for specific hazards related to heat, but there is a slight workaround. OSHA officers can cite dangerous work conditions using the general duty clause. What might lead to a citation?
- Not providing adequate shade at your worksite.
- Failing to offer—or enforce—mandatory breaks.
- Not providing enough potable water at your worksite.