An app that works on both iOS and Android devices has been released to protect outdoor workers in Pennsylvania and around the country from heat injury. Hailed as an important tool for worker safety, the app uses weather data to set both current and projected risk levels. This information can be used by workers and employers to reduce the risk of workplace injury in several ways.
Excess heat can cause heat stroke and death to outdoor workers, but it can also result in other types of workers’ injuries and costs to employers. Productivity can take a hit when workers become dehydrated or otherwise suffer from heat exposure. The combination of sweaty palms and fatigue also plays a role in the thousands of heat-related workplace injuries each year.
Many of these injuries could be prevented with the use of NIOSH safety recommendations. One tactic for employers to increase productivity and lessen the risk of a workplace accident is to increase the number of workers performing a task during excessive heat. Another practice is to have those workers monitor each other for signs of heat stress. The new app allows employers to prepare safety steps in advance by providing a current risk level for worker safety and an hourly forecast.
In the extreme heat of summer, outdoor workers need more frequent breaks, steady access to cool water and other provisions for their safety. When employers fail to provide these, workers can suffer on-the-job injuries that result in lost wages, medical expenses, long-term disability and other damages. They may experience difficulty in applying for workers’ compensation benefits, and thus might find having the assistance of an attorney advisable.