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App to keep workers cool this summer

Summer can be a dangerous time for outdoor workers. The heat can soar to unsafe levels quickly, so OSHA has created an app that allows supervisors and workers to monitor the heat index. It is hoped this will help keep workers safe and stop wage loss from heat related illness. This may be of interest to Los Angeles readers due to extreme summer weather conditions in the area.

OSHA has also developed educational materials about heat illnesses and the dangers presented by certain weather conditions in English and Spanish. The materials emphasize the dangers presented not only by heat, but high winds, thunder, lightning and tornadoes as well. Employees who work in construction, landscaping, on airport runways and agriculture all face risks from heat and weather conditions.

The App, known as Heat Safety Tool, displays the risk level at each heat index. It also offers reminders about protective steps that can be utilized at each level. Tips are offered on how much and what kinds of fluids to consume, when it's time to take a break and tips on what to do in an emergency. It also has ideas for building up heat tolerance for new workers and signs to watch for that indicate co-workers may be suffering from a heat related illness. The app is available for Androids, some Blackberries and iPhones.

Heat-related illness can be very dangerous and lead to hospitalization and in some cases, death. If an individual feels that he or she has been injured while working in a high heat index or dangerous weather, it might be helpful to allow a worker's compensation attorney to review the case. It may be possible to recover lost wages and be compensated for ongoing medical treatment.

Source: weku 88.9, "New OSHA App meant to Keep Workers Cooler", Stu Johnson, June 03, 2013

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