Outdoor work during extreme heat claims a life
A company based in Anson, Maine has been cited by OSHA for an employee fatality that occurred at a jobsite in Inman, Nebraska.
Smith Mountain Investments LLC is a professional pole inspection company that inspects and treats some of the 150,000,000 wood utility poles in North America to ensure structural integrity.
An employee of the company became ill while performing extreme physical activity in excessive temperatures in July 2019 and later died. OSHA cited Smith Mountain Investments for two serious safety and health violations for failing to protect workers from hazards associated with heavy physical activity in extreme heat conditions, and ensure medical care was available. The company faces $18,564 in penalties.
"Death from heat related illness is a preventable tragedy," said OSHA Omaha Acting Area Director Matt Thurlby. "When working in dangerously high temperatures, employers are responsible for implementing a heat safety program that includes modifying work practices, using controls to reduce heat stress and requiring water and rest breaks in shaded areas."
OSHA's Heat page provides information on assessing hazards associated with extreme physical activity while working in elevated temperatures and minimizing the potential impact on employees.