As another step in their efforts to encourage workplace safety and educate employers and employees about the dangers of extreme heat exposure and heat-related illness, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) have developed and released a free mobile application which enables employers, supervisors, and workers to monitor their worksite’s heat index, thus allowing them to take the necessary preventative measures against suffering heat-related illnesses.
Summertime heat can be very dangerous for outdoor workers. According to OSHA, roofers, farm workers, construction workers, air transportation workers, and landscapers suffer the highest rates of heat-illness.
The heat index app combines data from the U.S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with the worker’s location to determine proper safety measures, such as adjusting work operations, taking rest breaks, and drinking fluids. The app also provides workers with valuable information concerning the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. With this, workers can monitor their current health condition.
There are specific regulations to ensure workplace safety in California, even for heat illness. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), employers are required to take the following four steps in order to prevent heat-related illness:
- Train all employees and supervisors about heat-related illness prevention.
- Provide a sufficient amount of fresh water so that each employee can drink at least one quart per hour AND encourage every employee to do so.
- Provide shade access and encourage employees to take a rest in the shade for at least five minutes to cool down. Employees should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.
- Develop and institute written procedures for complying with the Heat Illness Prevention Standard, as established by Cal/OSHA.
If you or a loved one has suffered a heat-related illness at a San Fernando Valley workplace as the result of negligence on the part of a supervisor, contractor, or other employee, you may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. To learn more about your legal rights, contact one of the experienced North Hollywood on-the-job injury attorneys at The Mandell Law Firm at 818-886-6600.