With the summer months quickly arriving, we are looking forward to BBQs and lots of good times outdoors. But it also means that some of us will be working in the sun and heat, performing our jobs with occupational safety hazards not found in the cooler seasons.
The internet is full of outdated, incomplete, and even wrongheaded advice, and the news is full of dire predictions that the world is getting hotter and heat illness is getting more frequent. So what’s a concerned safety manager to do?
OSHA is implementing an enforcement initiative on heat-related hazards, developing a National Emphasis Program on heat inspections, and launching a rulemaking process to develop a workplace heat standard.
Extreme weather can present a major challenge for companies that make worksite safety a top priority. Conditions like lightning, strong winds and flooding can make good safety practices much harder to follow.
If outdoor workers are outfitted with proper PPE, their risks of getting hypothermia, frostbite, or catching a cold are greatly diminished. A side benefit of wearing proper PPE in harsh elements is that workers are more comfortable, which helps to improve performance and productivity.
Winter weather can range from moderate snow cover falling in a few hours to blizzards with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Winter weather can bring forth periodic storms that are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes wind, ice and freezing rain.