This morning the meteorologist advised that our high temperatures in Texas won’t dip below 100 for the foreseeable future. I’m thankful I heeded my Kindergarten teacher’s (Wanda Kite) advice to avoid anything ending up on my permanent record and I don’t have to dig ditches for a living. However, many Texans work outdoors everyday in these conditions and Texas employers need to take steps to ensure their employees have safe working conditions.
Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, has the following comments and recommendations:
Record heat is hitting the nation, putting outdoor workers at risk of heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Plan now so that you can take the precautions needed to protect outdoor workers during this heat wave:
Have a work site plan to prevent heat-related illnesses and make sure that medical services are available to respond to an emergency should one occur.
Provide plenty of water at the job site and remind workers to drink small amounts of water frequently — every 15 minutes.
Schedule rest breaks throughout the work shift and provide shaded or air conditioned rest areas near the work site.
Let new workers get used to the extreme heat, gradually increasing the work load over a week.
When possible, schedule heavy tasks for earlier in the day.
OSHA has a number of resources to educate employees and employers on precautions that should be taken during this time of extreme heat. You can check out those resources here. In the meantime, stay hydrated and cool to the extent you can until late October when this heat is finally expected to break.
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