Extreme Heat Renews Need to Protect Workers from Dangerous Temperatures

Widespread and prolonged extreme heat is baking most of the United States, with meteorologists seeing little sign of relief anytime soon. At the end of this week, much of the nation will likely be passing or close to temperatures in the 90s. And according to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center the entire Lower 48 states and Alaska are likely to be warmer than normal for the last two weeks of July.

According to OSHA, 50 to 70 percent of outdoor fatalities occur in the first few days of working in warm or hot environments because the body needs to build a tolerance to the heat gradually over time. That’s why it’s important to take the right steps to proactively protect workers from serious health risks posed by exposure to extreme temperatures such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. VelocityEHS' “Working in Extreme Temperatures” training course—part of our On-Demand Training / Learning Management System (LMS) course library—makes it easy to provide workers with a helpful overview on how to stay safe from both extreme heat and cold. Read on to learn more.

Extreme Temperatures on the Job – Key Facts

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), exposure to extreme environmental heat or cold sickened nearly 2,600 U.S. workers—and cost more than 30 workers their lives—during 2017 alone.
  • Employers are required to protect workers from extreme temperature hazards on the job, as outlined in OSHA’s General Duty Clause as well as related standards such as the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standard.
  • OSHA emphasizes worker protection from environmental heat with its “Water. Rest. Shade.” campaign, which provides educational materials and important facts related to heat illness prevention, symptoms and first aid measures. It also provides the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool mobile app, which features real-time heat index and hourly forecasts, specific to your location, as well as occupational safety and health recommendations from OSHA and NIOSH.

Simplify Safety and Compliance with On-Demand Training

  • Recognize symptoms of heat and cold-related illnesses
  • Factors that affect the body’s ability to withstand temperature extremes
  • Steps to reduce the risk of illness or injury
  • First aid measures for heat and cold-related illnesses
  • Precautions regarding the use of personal protective equipment in extreme temperature environments

Contact us at 1.888.362.2007 for more information about our training solutions.