The summer season officially kicks off this Memorial Day weekend, and OSHA is offering employers and workers aid in preventing heat-related illnesses, injuries and even deaths.
"The hot weather can present additional hazards to those who work outdoors or in very hot environments," says OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "It's important that employers and workers know how to reduce heat-related illnesses and fatalities. Simple precautions can often save lives."
Three OSHA publications are being made available from the agencyâ€™s Web site, www.osha.gov:
â€œProtecting Yourself in the Sunâ€ is a revised pocket card that explains how to perform self examinations to detect early stages of skin cancer. The card also describes common physical features of skin cancer that can be caused by exposure to the sun.
â€œWorking Outdoorsâ€ is an OSHA fact sheet that offers advice on ways to protect against exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), precautions to take if working in extreme heat, and how to protect against Lyme Disease and the West Nile Virus. The fact sheet also offers links for teenagers working at summer jobs.
OSHA's â€œHeat Stress Cardâ€ lists tips and precautions to prevent many heat-related deaths and injuries. Available in English and Spanish, this laminated fold-up card is free to employers to distribute to their workers. It offers a quick reference about heat-related injuries, including warning signs, symptoms and early treatment.
More information about heat and sun hazards can be found on OSHA's Web site and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), www.cdc.gov, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), www.cdc.gov/niosh.