OSHA's advice for preventing heat-related injuries on-the-job

Heat-related illnesses are problems in Pennsylvania and around the nation. According to one Occupational Safety and Health Administration study, illness from extended exposure to a high-heat work environment affects thousands of employed individuals each year. Out of those thousands, 30 people died in 2010. While OSHA has no best practice standard for heat related illnesses in place, the General Duty Clause, part of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, calls for employer accountability in matters of workplace safety. This guideline requires employers to provide a safe working environment that is free of potential dangers that could cause harm or death including heat related risks.

OSHA makes a few suggestions about what an employer can do to limit their employees' chances of getting harmed on the job due to a heat-related injury. They advise establishing a Heat Illness Prevention Program with guidelines, requirements and a manager to ensure it is enforced. An emergency action plan should also be implemented as well as a training program to educate workers about the dangers and preventative measures involved with heat illnesses.

OSHA also advises that plenty of air conditioning or shade and drinking water be located where all workers can access them quickly and easily. Breaks should be frequent and consistent, too. According to OSHA, providing these simple things will reduce the risk of a heat-related injury.

Injury on-the-job can happen even in the safest work environment. An attorney dealing with a worker's comp claim may look at many aspects in order to build a case. In many situations, they will investigate the job-site where the accident occurred. To facilitate their understanding of how the accident occurred, they may perform a simple reenactment. This may give them a better picture of how the situation played out step-by-step, and it may lead to beneficial insights into the overall case.

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