June 26, 2012 - Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year, according to NOAA’s National Weather Service. In fact, on average, excessive heat claims more lives each year than floods, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes combined.
For outdoor workers, warm weather can pose special hazards. Do you know the potential risks and how to manage them?
To protect yourself and your employees from heat stress, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends these safety precautions:
Be aware of equipment such as respirators or work suits that can increase heat stress.
There are three kinds of major heat-related disorders – heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. To know how to recognize each one and what first aid treatment is necessary, refer to OSHA's Heat Stress Quick Card.