OSHA has kicked off a national outreach initiative to educate workers and their employers about the hazards of working outdoors in the heat and steps needed to prevent heat-related illnesses.
OSHA’s 2012 Heat Illness Prevention Campaign builds on last year’s successful summer campaign as well as CAL/OSHA’s successful initiative in 2010. Nationwide last summer, OSHA participated in 500 national and local conferences, training sessions, and media events, and distributed more than 180,000 heat hazard materials in English and Spanish.
For outdoor workers, 'water, rest and shade' are three words that can make the difference between life and death," Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said. "If employers take reasonable precautions, and look out for their workers, we can beat the heat."
Each year, thousands of outdoor workers experience serious illnesses such as heat exhaustion. For 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 4,190 workers suffered from heat illness and 40 died from heat stroke and related causes on the job. Although outdoor workers in a variety of industries are susceptible to heat illness, those in construction and agriculture are the most vulnerable.