Employees who must work in cold temperature environments, such as food processing, pharmaceutical manufacturing or outdoors during the winter just got a bit more protection, in the form of a revision in a workwear standard.
The ISEA has released the newly revised standard — ANSI/ISEA 201-2019 American National Standard for Insulation and Wash Durability Classification of Apparel Used in Cold Work Environments.
Delivery service UPS, Inc. has been cited for failing to protect employees working in excessive heat after an employee suffered heat-related injuries near the Riviera Beach, Florida, facility. The employee required hospitalization after becoming ill while delivering packages on a day when the heat index ranged between 99 and 105 degrees.
The company faces $13,260 in penalties, the maximum penalty allowed by law for a serious violation.
Ergodyne announced its launch of new products to their extensive line of N-Ferno® cold-weather gear. These new additions come just in time as retailers and customers start to think ahead to the winter months.
“We listened to worker feedback on the type of protection they need on the job in the winter, and made some additions and improvements to some of our best-sellers,” says Alsie Nelson, Senior Product Manager, Ergodyne.
Every year, thousands of workers are exposed to heat on the job created by environmental conditions, clothing and workload. This heat exposure can lead to costly mistakes, time lost due to illness and even death in extreme heat illness situations. Government organizations, like OSHA, implement guidelines and regulations to ensure that heat-related prevention practices are in place to protect these workers.
For Peggy Frank, a Los Angeles letter carrier, any federal or California safety rule ordering her employer—and all other firms—to protect workers from the hazards of excess heat didn’t work.
Frank, a 63-year-old grandmother, collapsed and died from California’s monstrously high heat while delivering the mail in Woodland Hills, a section of Los Angeles, last summer. The temperature in that particular neighborhood the day she died? 107 degrees.
Advocates in Florida are pushing for tougher standards for growers to protect their employees, arguing that rising global temperatures will make outdoor work unsustainable without the proper regulations.
Florida’s agriculture and construction employers could soon be required to train outdoor workers and managers on avoiding heat-related illnesses under proposed legislation.
The heat illness prevention bill, sponsored by Orlando Democrat Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, would set a statewide standard for all outdoor workers to be given plenty of drinking water, access to shade and ten-minute rest breaks enforced after every two hours of outside labor.
Workers in many fields – construction, landscaping, oil and gas extraction, emergency response, firefighters among others – toil in high heat stress conditions. These tasks can lead to rapid increases in body temperature that raise the risk of heat-related illnesses.
The HIP Network is a voluntary public/private partnership established to increase both employers' and employees' awareness of the hazard of heat illness and the importance of heat illness prevention measures to prevent fatalities and serious illnesses in California workplaces.
The state of California continues to place obligations for preventing employee heat stroke onto employers. In 2015, California heat stroke law clarified that cooldown periods or “recovery periods” must be paid, by state law.