OSHA has kicked off its summer campaign to inform employers and employees about the dangers of working in the heat. The campaign will continue its annual outreach to highlight how heat-related worker fatalities are entirely preventable. In 2014 alone, 2,630 workers suffered from heat illness and 18 died from heat stroke and related causes on the job.
On May 26, Kelly Schnapp, who directs OSHA’s Office of Science and Technology Assessment, joined four other experts on a White House webinar highlighting the risks of extreme heat to four vulnerable populations: the elderly, athletes, emergency responders, and outdoor workers. Schnapp noted that a majority of recent heat-related deaths investigated by OSHA involved workers on the job for three days or less – highlighting the need for employers to ensure that new workers become acclimated to the heat when starting or returning to work.
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OSHA also provided heat safety tips for workers in a blog, Twitter posts, and an updated heat campaign webpage that now includes illustrations of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, an animated video, training resources, and links to an updated heat safety phone app. #WaterRestShade is the official hashtag of the campaign, encouraging employers to provide their workers with drinking water, ample breaks, and a shaded area while working outdoors. OSHA also continues to partner with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to raise awareness on the dangers of working in the heat through its Weather-Ready Nation campaign.