osha water rest shadeThe OSHA Training Center at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District is announcing the launch of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s annual Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers.  Industries such as agriculture, construction, landscaping and transportation employ thousands of seasonal workers every year who face a high risk of heat-related illness.  The primary goals of the campaign are to raise awareness among workers and employers about the dangers of working in hot weather and to provide resources and guidance to address heat-related hazards.

Thousands of employees become sick each year from working in the heat.  OSHA recorded 31 heat-related worker deaths and 4,120 heat-related worker illnesses in 2012.  It is vitally important for employers of outdoor workers to follow a few basic steps to save lives and prevent heat-related illness, including scheduling frequent water breaks, providing shade and allowing ample time to rest.

Heat illness disproportionately affects new and temporary workers as well as anyone who has not built up a tolerance to heat.  Acclimatization, which allows workers to gradually build their heat tolerance, is a critical part of preventing heat illnesses and fatalities.  Labor-intensive activities in hot weather can raise body temperatures beyond the level that normally can be cooled by sweating.  Heat illness initially may manifest as heat rash or heat cramps, but can quickly escalate to heat exhaustion and heat stroke if simple preventative measures are not followed.

Extensive information and resources on heat illness prevention can be accessed on the OSHA Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness webpage.  The OSHA Training Center’s Heat Illness Prevention webpage features a variety of free heat-related illness resources, including training materials, a supervisor’s daily checklist and worker fact sheets on heat illness prevention.  Also, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is partnering with OSHA to include pertinent worker safety information and precautions when heat alerts are issued on its Heat Watch webpage.

Upcoming OSHA Training Center courses that include information on heat illness prevention include:

OSHA 5109 – Cal/OSHA Standards for the Construction Industry

OSHA 5119 – Cal/OSHA Standards for General Industry

About the OSHA Training Center

The OSHA Training Center at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District offers high quality Occupational Safety & Health Administration standards-based training for construction, maritime, and general industry at its Center in Dublin, California, as well as locations throughout California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and Guam. Programs offered include OSHA safety standards, Outreach Trainer courses, Cal/OSHA standards curriculum, environmental courses and customized onsite safety training. For more information, including a complete course schedule, visit the OSHA Training Center website or call (866) 936-OSHA (6742).