With the start of summer, it's time to take steps to protect yourself and your employees from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Construction workers, who work outdoors in direct sunlight or in hot, enclosed spaces, are especially at risk. In 2015 alone, 17 construction workers died and many more became sick from working in the heat, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) reports.
Heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable. Workers can dress for conditions in light-colored, breathable clothes. Employers should plan frequent water breaks in shaded or cooled areas for their employees. And everyone should know the symptoms of heat stroke, so they can spot a co-worker in danger and call for help.
CPWR has published a new Hazard Alert that reviews heat hazards and the steps to prevent heat illness. It's an ideal handout for worker safety talks and training classes -- contact CPWR if you would like to request free copies to distribute, or download copies in English and Spanish from our website. You can find this, and more information and tools to help you work safely in hot weather, on our Working in Hot Weather web page.