Understand heat illness prevention, its importance, and some examples of heat illness prevention plans.
Published 6 Jul 2022
Heat illness prevention pertains to setting proactive measures in helping people avoid contracting illnesses caused by excessive heat exposure and heat exhaustion. Workers, especially those in the construction industry, can’t avoid working in the heat or any condition and place with high temperatures. Hence, heat illness prevention is key to help keep them healthy and safe when they’re at work.
Heat is one of the top causes of weather-related fatalities in the United States. In relation to that, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) also states that almost 3 out of 4 fatalities caused by heat illness occur during the first week of work, which means many employees aren’t well-adjusted to their working conditions properly.
In the workplace, employees highly exposed to heat (whether indoors or outdoors) must receive proper assistance from their employers in ensuring they have a safe place to work. This can be done by having a well-ventilated work area when they’re indoors (falling under an organization’s Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning or HVAC system) and setting guidelines or protocols for strict implementation when working outdoors or on the field.
Here are a few of the major benefits of having proactive measures in place:
Heat Illness Prevention at Work
While there are available first aid treatments for heat illnesses, it’s still best for organizations to put prevention as the first and foremost strategy.
Having that said, what are 3 ways to prevent heat illness? Take a look at each of them in detail, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A heat illness prevention plan is a collection of guidelines created by an organization’s management to provide leaders, managers, and employees with the necessary training and tools to help them prevent illnesses caused by working in the heat.
Elements of Heat Illness Prevention Planning
According to the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), your heat illness prevention plan should include 10 elements:
Moreover, the recommended OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Program under the OSH Act puts the responsibility on employers to provide workplaces free from known safety and health hazards, including those related to working in the heat. In detail, employers are highly encouraged to follow these steps toward a holistic program:
Powerful mobile solutions such as iAuditor by SafetyCulture help organizations implement a comprehensive heat illness prevention program through various proactive ways. Maximizing the following smart features, build a culture of safety among your employees via iAuditor:
Patricia Guevara is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture. With her extensive content writing and copywriting experience, she creates high-quality content across a variety of relevant topics. She aims to promote workplace safety, operational excellence, and continuous improvement in her articles. She is passionate about communicating how technology can be used to streamline work processes, empowering companies to realize their business goals.
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