25Jul 2018

Heat Warnings & Advisories In Effect! Keep Your Employees Cool On the Job

This week may turn out to be one of the hottest—if not the hottest—in 2018 so far.

How hot is it? Palm Springs and El Centro hit 120 degrees this week. Redding may reach 112. Fresno, Sacramento, and many other communities expect to straddle the 100-degree mark over the next few days.  In fact, the National Weather Service has issued either a heat warning or an advisory in more than 40 of California’s 58 counties.

Water helps protect workers in the summer heat

Providing enough water for employees is critical for their safety during periods of extreme heat.

Cal/OSHA urges you to protect your employees from the heat. That protection starts with your heat illness prevention plan (HIPP). The HIPP spells out everything from your emergency response procedure to the workplace adjustments you must make when it gets too hot.

Do you have an HIPP?

Some of the requirements of the HIPP appear below. If you don’t have a plan already, don’t wait until the plan is created to take these steps. Make these changes today:

  • Provide—at no cost—enough fresh, pure, suitably cool water for each worker to drink at least one quart per hour of their work shift.
  • Strongly encourage your employees to drink at least that amount of water.
  • Provide shade and encourage your employees to take cool-down rest breaks throughout the day. Workers should not wait until they feel sick before taking a shade break.
  • Remind employees to be extra vigilant if they have diabetes or other medical conditions that reduce tolerance to heat. Some high blood pressure medications and anti-inflammatories may increase the risk of heat illness.
  • Take anyone who shows signs of possible overheating to a shaded area immediately. Keep them there until symptoms are gone. Everyone—you, your supervisory staff, and employees—must be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat illness.
  • Specify emergency response procedures for when someone gets sick. And, ensure you and your supervisory staff have proper training on how to respond.
  • Give your employees time to acclimate to the heat.

With these precautions in place, you and your employees are better equipped to handle whatever California has to offer during the summer months.

Looking for more information on heat illness and how to prevent it? Sign up for one of State Fund’s Heat Illness Prevention seminars. Just head over to the Safety Seminars section here on the Safety blog to find and register for the one nearest you.

And, Cal/OSHA has several resources at your fingertips for further information.

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