osha heatAn employee engaged in drilling operations on the rig floor of a drilling site in Big Spring, Texas in June was overcome by heat and rushed to a hospital, where he died.

An OSHA investigation into the fatality resulted in the man’s employer, Abilene-based Heartland Drilling, Inc. being cited for exposing workers to hazards associated with excessive heat.

"This tragedy underscores the need for employers to take proactive steps to keep workers safe in extreme heat," said JoAnn Figueroa, OSHA's area director in El Paso.

The proposed penalty totals $6,930. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with the area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Information about OSHA's campaign to prevent heat-related illnesses among outdoor workers can be viewed at www.osha.gov/heat. OSHA also has a free application for mobile devices that enables workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their work sites. It is available for download on Android-based platforms and the iPhone at www.osha.gov/heatapp.