Work safely in the heat: What you need to know

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Photo: safetyandhealthmagazine.
Heat-related illnesses accounted for 783 worker deaths and nearly 70,000 serious injuries in the United States from 1992 to 2016. And in 2018 alone, 3,950 workers experienced days away from work as a result of nonfatal injuries and illnesses from on-the-job heat exposure.

“Millions of U.S. workers are exposed to heat in the workplace, and although heat-related illness is preventable, each year thousands of workers are getting sick from their exposure to heat, and … some cases are fatal,” Stephen Boyd, deputy regional administrator for OSHA Region 6, said May 19 during an OSHA webinar on preventing heat-related illnesses and injuries.

Working in a hot environment can trigger ailments that include heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke – considered a medical emergency. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include feeling faint or dizzy; excessive sweating; cool, pale, clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; rapid, weak pulse; and muscle cramps. Workers who are experiencing heat exhaustion need to get to a cool, air-conditioned place. If fully conscious, they should drink water, take a cool shower and use a cold compress.

Workers with heatstroke may experience a headache but no sweating, and have a body temperature above 103° F. Other symptoms are red, hot, dry skin; nausea or vomiting; and loss of consciousness. Call 911 if a case of heatstroke is suspected, then take action to cool the worker until help arrives.

Other tips from OSHA to help prevent heat-related illnesses include:

  • Drink water every 15 minutes.
  • If working outside, take rest breaks in the shade to cool down.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing when working outdoors.
  • Monitor co-workers for symptoms of heat-related 
illnesses.

OSHA provides employer and worker resources for working in hot weather via its “Water. Rest. Shade.” campaign at osha.gov/heat.


McCraren Compliance sees the solution in our people. We are developing each person into a safety leader by recognizing and valuing them as humans and teaching them to do the same with their co-workers. We are creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Recognize Safe + Sound Week, August 10-16, 2020

Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event held each August that recognizes the successes of workplace health and safety programs and offers information and ideas on how to keep America’s workers safe.

Why Participate?
Successful safety and health programs can proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, improving sustainability and the bottom line. Participating in Safe + Sound Week can help get your program started, energize an existing one, or provide a chance to recognize your safety successes.

Who Participates?
All organizations looking for an opportunity to recognize their commitment to safety are welcome to participate. Last year, more than 3,300 businesses helped to raise awareness about workers’ health and safety!

Safe + Sound Week August 10-16, 2020 - Management Leadership - Worker Participation - Find and Fix Hazards

Seven Steps to Correctly Wear a Respirator at Work Poster

 

OSHA’s poster that shows employers and workers how to properly wear and remove a respirator is now available in 16 languages.

Seven Steps to Correctly Wear a Respirator at Work Poster

OSHA 4015 – 2020) English: PDF

(OSHA 4016 – 2020) Spanish: PDF

(OSHA 4036 – 2020) Arabic: PDF

(OSHA 4037 – 2020) Brazilian Portuguese: PDF

(OSHA 4032 – 2020) Chinese Simplified: PDF

(OSHA 4031 – 2020) Chinese Traditional: PDF

(OSHA 4034 – 2020) French Creole: PDF

(OSHA 4041 – 2020) Hmong: PDF

(OSHA 4039 – 2020) Korean: PDF

(OSHA 4043 – 2020) Kunama: PDF

(OSHA 4038 – 2020) Polish: PDF

(OSHA 4040 – 2020) Russian: PDF

(OSHA 4044 – 2020) Somali: PDF

(OSHA 4033 – 2020) Tagalog: PDF

(OSHA 4042 – 2020) Thai: PDF

(OSHA 4035 – 2020) Vietnamese: PDF

 

 

 

 

 

Osha has a new webpage with guidance specifically for keeping construction workers safe during the pandemic

Construction worker with PPE | Photo Credit: Courtesy of Turner Construction

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Turner Construction

This section provides guidance for construction employers and workers, such as those engaged in carpentry, ironworking, plumbing, electrical, heating/ ventilation/air conditioning/ventilation, masonry and concrete work, utility construction work, and earthmoving activities.

Click here to visit the new webpage. 

 

Advocacy group releases guidelines for safe return to work

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Photo: National COSH

Los Angeles — To help ensure the safety of people returning to work – as well as those already on the job – during the COVID-pandemic, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health has released guidelines for workplace safety; worker participation; and fair compensation for sick, injured and at-risk workers.

In a report released May 14, National COSH states that essential businesses should have critical safety measures in place that are enforced and monitored. Contributing to the report – A Safe and Just Return to Work – were physicians, certified industrial hygienists, attorneys, academics, and leaders of nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations.

“The United States is far from being ready to open for business without putting not only workers but entire communities at grave risk of illness and death,” the report states. “Only the most essential businesses should be open, and even those must only be allowed to operate if critical safety measures are in place.”

The guidelines emphasize that protections must follow NIOSH’s Hierarchy of Controls, which places personal protective equipment as the final line of defense.

According to National COSH, a safe return-to-work strategy requires, at a minimum:

  • Effective and stringent health and safety protections informed by science; backed by robust enforcement; and designed with input from workers, employers and unions, among others.
  • A planned, detailed and meaningful system for testing, screening, contact tracing, isolation and epidemiological surveillance.
  • Guaranteed job protection and just compensation for workers, as well as individuals who can’t work.
  • Respect and inclusion of meaningful worker and union involvement in decision-making, return-to-work plans and workplace safety.
  • Measures to ensure equity, inclusion and a path to end health and economic disparities.

“Employers who adopt a ‘business-as-usual’ approach could cause workers and their family members to become sick or even die,” Sherry Baron, a professor of public health at Queens College in New York City and a contributor to the report, said in the release. “The right way to reduce risk and limit harm is to include workers in making the plan and implementing effective safety programs, based on the best available scientific evidence.

ADOT Safety Message Contest finalists announced

Vote for your favorite at azdot.gov/signcontest

PHOENIX – Need a fun distraction for a few minutes? The Arizona Department of Transportation has you covered.

2020 ADOT Message Contest Voting GraphicIt’s time to vote for your favorite in ADOT’s fourth annual Safety Message Contest. From Monday, May 11, through Sunday, May 17, you can pick your favorite from among the 12 finalists and vote at azdot.gov/signcontest.

“In these unprecedented times, we can all use a distraction that makes us smile, even if it’s just for a moment, and taking a look at the best of the contest’s message entries can, hopefully, do that,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said.

Arizonans submitted more than 4,000 messages that covered a variety of traffic safety topics, including, texting and driving, impaired driving, blinker use, tailgating, seat belts, child safety seats and more. The two finalists that receive the most votes will be displayed on Dynamic Message Signs statewide.

ADOT began displaying unconventional safety messages on overhead signs in 2015 as part of an effort to encourage drivers to make better decisions behind the wheel. According to national traffic statistics, more than 90% of vehicle crashes are caused by driver decisions, including choosing to speed and to drive distracted, impaired or recklessly.

“For the past four years the safety message contest has generated tremendous engagement with the public, and it’s wonderful to see,” Halikowski added. “We want to see people thinking and talking about safe driving, and the contest helps further that effort.”

U.S. Department of Labor Publishes 11 New Translations of OSHA Poster To Help Prevent Workplace Coronavirus Exposure

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has translated and published its “Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus” poster in 11 additional languages.

Currently available in English and Spanish, the poster highlights 10 infection prevention measures every employer should implement to protect workers’ safety and health during the coronavirus pandemic. Safety measures include encouraging sick workers to stay home; establishing flexible worksites and staggered work shifts; discouraging workers from using other workers’ phones, desks and other work equipment; and using Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from List N or that have label claims against the coronavirus.

The poster is available for download in the following languages:

 

Visit OSHA’s Publications webpage for other useful workplace safety information.

The additional translations are OSHA’s latest effort to educate and protect America’s workers and employers during the coronavirus pandemic. In response to President Trump’s action to increase the availability of general use respirators, OSHA has issued a series of guidance documents that expand access to respirators in the workplace. OSHA has also published Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, its guidance aimed at helping workers and employers learn about ways to protect themselves and their workplaces during the ongoing pandemic.

Visit OSHA’s coronavirus webpage frequently for updates. For further information about coronavirus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

COVID-19 pandemic: Construction ‘one of our more challenging workplaces,’ NIOSH’s Howard says

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Photo: Willowpix/iStockphoto

Itasca, IL — Many construction projects are still underway despite the majority of states issuing stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic to help stop the spread of the disease, according to NIOSH Director John Howard.

Howard was the featured speaker on a March 31 webinar – the second in a series aimed at providing workers and employers updates on the pandemic – hosted by the National Safety Council in conjunction with NIOSH.

“State governors have issued stay-at-home orders and have frequently exempted construction and declared it to be essential,” he said. “It’s probably one of our more challenging workplaces.”

Construction workers are often in close quarters and areas that aren’t well-ventilated. Howard encouraged construction employers, workers and unions to partner and create a shared set of best practices to help keep workers safe and healthy.

Among the most common best practices to follow are physical distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when on the jobsite and making appropriate personal protective equipment available.

“We should separate workers as much as we can,” Howard said. “And, when we can’t, we make sure they’re well-protected.”

Other best practices include:

  • Encouraging sick workers to stay home.
  • Having forepersons ask workers to self-identify symptoms of illnesses. For COVID-19, symptoms include a fever, coughing and shortness of breath.
  • Screening all visitors to the site.
  • Performing temperature checks of workers, preferably with no-contact thermometers.
  • Continuing toolbox talks, but making sure they’re done with proper physical distancing of 6 feet between each worker.
  • Identifying choke points in buildings under construction and working to resolve them.
  • Minimizing worker interaction when equipment or supplies are picked up or delivered.
  • Modifying work schedules by staggering shifts, or offering alternate days of work or extra shifts to reduce the number of workers on a site at one time.
  • Restricting access to closed or confined spaces.
  • Not sharing water bottles.
  • Disinfecting shared equipment (e.g., tools and vehicles) before and after each use.
  • Providing workers with handwashing stations. If water isn’t available onsite, employers should make hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol readily available.
  • For large construction sites, Howard encouraged employers to have a specific COVID-19 officer onsite.

    When it comes to PPE, “gloves should always be worn, depending on the task. And don’t share,” Howard said. “Eye protection is a must. For workers who have to work in close quarters, they should use appropriate PPE and augment ventilation in those areas.”

    Anxiety and fear among employees

    “This is an important issue we don’t talk about enough,” Howard said. “This is a very stressful period of time for all of us. Employers should pay attention to it.”

    He recommended that workers use employee assistance programs and other resources that employers make available.

    Cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting

    It’s important to understand that these three terms aren’t interchangeable when talking about precautions to prevent exposure.

    “Cleaning is getting the dirt out,” Howard said. “Sanitizing is what’s used in public health a lot to get down to a certain level of bacteria – sometimes 95% is killed. Disinfection is killing everything. That’s where you want to aim.”

COVID-19 pandemic: CPWR shares tips to help shield construction workers from exposure

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Photo: beekeepx/iStockphoto

Silver Spring, MD — Aiming to protect construction workers from the COVID-19 pandemic, CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training has released guidance for employees and employers.

CPWR collaborated with North America’s Building Trades Unions, as well as partners in research and government, to develop the guidance. The center said it plans to update its COVID-19 webpage regularly as information becomes available.

Tips for workers include:

  • Don’t go to work if you’re feeling sick.
  • Don’t shake hands when greeting others.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others on the worksite, if possible, including during meetings and training sessions.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or do so into your elbow.
  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

For employers:

  • Plan for office staff to have the ability to work from home.
  • Provide soap and running water – and hand sanitizer, if possible – on all worksites to allow for frequent handwashing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on worksites and in offices, including hand rails, doorknobs and portable toilets.
  • If a job involves working at a health care facility, provide workers with Infection Control Risk Assessment training.