Even here in Colorado, the heat can get unbearable. If an individual works outdoors, he or she could suffer from a heat-related illness. One way that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health are working to help workers avoid this particular workplace injury is through the creation and update of a heat safety app for smartphones.
Outdoor workers no longer need to rely only on their employers to know when conditions are reaching a boiling point. In addition to the fresh and clean water, shade and heat stress training, among other things, that OSHA requires from employers with outdoor employees, this mobile app could help managers, supervisors and workers when the heat rises. Of course, the app does not relieve employers of their duty to adhere to the guidelines set forth by OSHA and other federal and state agencies.
Many people fail to understand just how dangerous the heat can be. To put it into perspective, approximately 65,000 people went to the hospital after suffering from heat-related illnesses each year in the United States. In fact, 18 people lost their lives while working in the heat just in 2014. According to OSHA, the number one weather-related hazard to workers is extreme exposure to heat.
Even after taking as many precautions as possible, the possibility of suffering from a heat-related illness remains. Colorado workers may receive workers’ compensation benefits for this type of workplace injury. Receiving much needed benefits can prove frustrating and stressful while an individual attempts to recover. It would more than likely be worth it to discuss the situation with an attorney who could help ensure that the appropriate benefits are received.
Source: safetyandhealthmagazine.com, “NIOSH, OSHA update heat safety app for outdoor workers“, June 13, 2017