Use caution if working outdoors in hot conditions
August 18, 2012
NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 18, 2012
The state Department of Labor & Industries reminded people working outdoors to take steps to prevent heat-related illness amid near-record temperatures.
In Washington, workers in the roofing, highway construction and agricultural fields can be particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses in warm weather.
Since 2008, Washington has had a workplace-safety rule on outdoor heat exposure to protect workers from heat-related illness.
The rule requires employers with employees working outdoors to train workers and supervisors on the symptoms of heat-related illness and what to do if someone develops a heat-related illness.
Employers also must provide plenty of water for workers, be able to respond appropriately to any employee with symptoms of illness and include heat-related-illness hazards in the company’s accident prevention program.
The agency offers tips for workers in the high temperatures:
- Start work well-hydrated and drink as much as a cup of water every 15 minutes.
- Watch coworkers for signs of heat-related illness, such as headaches, dizziness or nausea.
- Pace your work and take scheduled breaks.
- Wear lightweight clothing, and remove protective gear when it’s safe to do so.
- Avoid drinking caffeine or eating a heavy meal.