Turning up the Heat on Employers

It’s hot outside. The rising temperature has implications for employers, specifically the responsibility to monitor employee health. The ramifications of heat related employment issues span from loss of productivity and morale issues to injuries and even death. From a strict legal standpoint, OSHA has regulations governing occupational heat exposure. Moreover, there are risk management tools to consider for all employees exposed to extreme heat.

Reportedly, employees at risk of heat related health concerns are those exposed to extreme heat both indoors and outdoors, those who engage in strenuous physical work and those who come into contact with hot surfaces, steam or fire. Most employment-related injuries caused by heat occur in the construction industry but heat illnesses can affect workers in any industry; i.e. farming, electrical, oil and gas, landscaping, even postal workers and similar occupations.

To reduce the risks associated with heat related illnesses, employers are encouraged to conduct hazard assessments to evaluate employee safety, to maintain records of all work-related injuries, to provide drinking water and first aid services for employees, and to provide up-to-date and routine safety training.

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