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OSHA Program Designed to “Beat the Heat”

By May 17, 2022uPDate

When OSHA launched the first-ever National Emphasis Program (NEP) on heat hazards in April of this year, the Patterson & Dewar Engineers, Inc. Safety & Health Services Team was way ahead of the curve. In the summer of 2021, our Safety Director and Safety Manager created special training for our employees on heat-related illness and emergency responses when they hosted “Summer Safety: Beat the Heat” Lunch & Learn. Their goal was for employees to be empowered with the knowledge to prevent exposure to heat-related hazards in the workplace and at home because our people are our most valuable asset, and keeping them safe is key to our continued success.

Safety Director Jonathan Dawe, Ph.D., and Safety Manager, Alex Wellinghurst, led
Summer Safety: Beat the Heat Lunch & Learn on June 18, 2021.

The course taught employees how to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and appropriately treat the illness. Learners were also introduced to heat stroke signs, symptoms, and treatment and provided guidelines on avoiding heat-related conditions, which included:

  • Using air conditioning as the best way to cool off
  • Taking breaks during strenuous activities
  • Drinking fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty, and avoiding alcohol
  • Replacing salt lost from sweating by drinking fruit juices or sports drinks
  • Avoiding spending time outdoors during the hottest part of the day, 11 AM to 3 PM, if possible
  • Wearing sunscreen because sunburn affects the body’s ability to cool itself
  • Pacing yourself when you exert your body

Slides from the Summer Safety: Beat the Heat Lunch & Learn

Heat illness affects thousands of indoor and outdoor workers each year and can lead to death. As part of this NEP program, OSHA will inspect over 70 high-risk industries in indoor and outdoor work settings when the National Weather Service has issued a heat warning or advisory for a local area. In addition, OSHA inspectors and compliance assistance specialists will provide outreach and technical assistance to help keep workers safe when the heat index is 80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. For more information on the OSHA National Emphasis Program on Outdoor and Indoor Heat Hazards, click here to view the fact sheet.

Companies can comply with the new OSHA NEP by:

  • Having a heat illness prevention written program and emergency plan
  • Providing additional training on heat hazards and steps to prevent heat-related illnesses
  • Ensuring clean, cool water is available for employees on all job sites and in all offices
  • Scheduling frequent breaks in shaded or cooled areas
  • Gradually increasing workloads to acclimatize workers who are new to working in the heat

Feel free to contact our Safety & Health Services Team for any safety-related needs that you may have. Learn more by visiting their web pages here.