The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) assisted Georgia employers by hosting a heat illness prevention training session on August 3, 2011 in order to educate construction workers and employers about the dangers of working in extreme heat.
The construction industry can be an uncomfortable place to work during the summer months, but it has also proven to be dangerous, as temperatures have soared in the last few years. Intense heat can cause heat stroke as well as acute heart, liver, kidney, and muscle damage. Workers suffering from heat stress are also at a greater risk for accidents.
"Workers die from heat-related stroke or illness every year, and every one of these deaths is preventable," Cindy Coe, OSHA's regional administrator in Atlanta, said in a statement. "We are glad that the construction industry recognizes the importance of this issue and is supporting OSHA's heat illness prevention campaign."
According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), heat-related emergencies can be easily prevented by taking frequent rest breaks and wearing loose-fitting clothing in hot weather.
In addition to ensuring proper training about extreme heat conditions, employers should be sure that proper safety products are being used at all times. When the sun contributes to the heat, using hard hats with a full brim to shade the ears and neck, wearing dark shade safety glasses, and providing cooling headwear, bandanas, vests, and towels will all help workers stay cooler.