How 3 companies are protecting their workers from extreme heat
Cooling caps, canopies with misting hoses and training sessions on heat exposure are among the ways employers are keeping their workers safe during extreme heat, according to OSHA, which is compiling examples.
Companies who’ve contributed tips so far include:
Granite Construction, one of the 25 largest construction companies in the U.S. Granite uses a variety of methods to keep its workers safe from the heat, including providing each jobsite supervisor with a portable canopy sun shade; equipping workers with evaporative, cooling neck towels and shades that attach to the back of their hard hats to protect their necks from sun exposure; monitoring the OSHA-NIOSH heat safety app and following its recommendations; and conducting training sessions on heat exposure, how to recognize and treat heat-related illness, and proper hydration.
Ballard Marine Construction, a marine infrastructure and utility contractor serving international clients in the nuclear, hydroelectric, salvage, pipeline, and submarine cable industries. The company sets up portable shade canopies outside its dive control vans, with misting hoses woven throughout the frames to cover workers with a fine spray of water throughout the day. The company has also installed misters on its barges and used misting fans to keep its workers cool in high temperatures.
Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries in Springfield, Ill. The company has implemented a buddy system within shifts so that workers can keep an eye on each other and report to their supervisor if they notice symptoms of heat illness. New and/or transferred employees are acclimated to the environment by getting frequent breaks during their first two weeks on the job and during heat waves. The company also equips workers with cooling caps and bandanas, and provides earlier shifts and additional breaks, water and sports drinks on days when temperatures are expected to be especially high. Throughout the summer the company sends text messages/emails, and gives posters and toolbox talks to keep workers alert to the hazards of heat exposure.
For more, and to submit your own methods, go to OSHA’s heat campaign webpage.