With temperatures reaching triple digits in several parts of the Southeast U.S., the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is asking employers to protect workers from the dangers that come with such hot conditions.
OSHA said thousands of workers get sick from heat exposure every year, with some of those cases being fatal.
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Reports show nearly 42 percent of worker deaths between 2011 and 2019 were caused by environmental heat exposure while they were engaged in construction, repair or cleaning.
To prevent this, OSHA recommends that employers let workers take frequent breaks and work shorter shifts to help build tolerance.
It’s also important for workers to drink water — even if they aren’t thirsty, the agency said.
Taking rest breaks in shaded or cooler areas, wearing light-colored and loose-fitting clothing, and having personal protective equipment like respirators are all suggestions OSHA asks employers to practice.