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Heat illness prevention program educates workers

The 2013 Heat Illness Prevention Program through Cal/OSHA plans to inform California workers of the possible dangers of outdoor work in the summer. A heat-related personal injury can affect those in agriculture, construction, outdoor recreation and even law enforcement. The program focuses on workplace safety regulations and compliance issues.

Some aspects of preventing the dangers of heat illness include education and outreach efforts so that employees and their supervisors alike will understand the possible consequences. A spokeswoman for Cal/OSHA indicated that water, extra rest, breaks in the shade and effective emergency plans could help outdoor workers leave the job site in a healthy condition. 

She advocated for basic measures that include several steps. First, everyone in a company should be trained in prevention measures. Water needs to be available, and employees need to hydrate regularly. They should also have a shady spot for a break. If the business hires a new employee who is not accustomed to the heat or if the temperature suddenly escalates, the employee should have time to acclimate to the climate. Employees should be trained to handle situations involving heat illness.

When temperatures climb above 95 degrees, a communication system to contact emergency personnel should be in place. This material has been translated into several languages in order to communicate to those who may not get the attention they deserve.

During the summer, heat-related illness at work can escalate. If someone faces a work-related injury, a workers' compensation lawyer might be able to help with a possible lawsuit and recovering payment for hospital bills.

Source: HR - Business and Legal Resources, "Cal/OSHA Launches 2013 Heat Illness Prevention Campaign," April 4, 2013

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