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.
Most employers in Pennsylvania and throughout the country are required by law to make available a hazard-free workplace for their employees. This can be achieved when employers follow regulations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Employers must carry workers' compensation insurance for their employees as well, unless the company is legally exempt.
Pennsylvania residents may be interested to learn that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the complaints of 28 McDonald's employees who claim they suffered burns while working at the fast-food chain. The allegations, which were reported earlier in March, were made by workers in 19 different cities around the country.