OSHA Launches New Program Focusing on Heat-Related Work InjuriesJune 9, 2022
With the heat of summer quickly approaching, many employers need to be concerned about how hot their workplaces will become. Every year, many employees suffer from heat-related workplace injuries. Some employment locations are prone to becoming extremely hot, especially when the work is done either outside or in manufacturing facilities that are difficult to cool. This is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a new program focused on preventing heat-related illnesses and injuries that occur every year.
The OSHA program will help prevent heatstroke and other heat-related injuries in 70 high-risk industries. The program will provide information to employers to help protect their employees. Also, there will be inspections of job sites, both indoor facilities and outside worksites, by OSHA’s Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs). The inspections will occur when the National Weather Service issues a heat advisory or warning for the local area. The goal is to prevent heat-related injuries from happening versus responding to already reported incidents.
What Are Common Heat-Related Injuries?
The three most common and most dangerous heat-related injuries are heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Each has specific causes and symptoms.
Heat cramps are usually the first stage in a downward cascade of more severe conditions. It can start with light cramps, muscle pain, tightness, and exhaustion. The quickest way to remove the danger is to lower the body temperature and drink water.
To prevent heat exhaustion, the worker should be removed from the workplace, and their body temperature should be lowered as soon as possible. Also, they should drink fluids like water or drinks with electrolytes.
If any of the below symptoms are noticed, the worker should be taken to the emergency room for evaluation. If the heat cramps are not dealt with, they will likely move on to heat exhaustion. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
- Muscle cramps.
- Confusion and disorientation.
- Fast heart rate.
- Rapid breathing.
- Extreme thirst.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Clammy or pale skin.
- Excessive sweating.
- Losing consciousness.
The third and most serious heat-related illness is heatstroke. This can occur when heat cramps and heat exhaustion symptoms are not quickly dealt with and resolved. The body can only take so much heat until it begins to shut down. Here are the most common symptoms of heatstroke:
- Body temperature over 104 Fahrenheit.
- Inability to breathe properly.
- Rapid breaths.
- Weak pulse.
- Lack of motor coordination.
- Loss of consciousness.
- Excessive sweating.
West Chester Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Help Workers Who Have Heat-Related Injuries
If you have a severe work-related heat injury and have questions about your claim, we can help. Our West Chester Workers’ Compensation lawyer at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello can protect your rights. Call us at 610-892-4940 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Media, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, and West Chester.