Did you know that an average of 1,500 people die each year from exposure to excessive heat? There are also various different heat related illnesses that occur and are a particular hazard to those who work outdoors - especially given this summer's record setting heat. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a national outreach campaign to educate employers and workers about the dangers of working in the heat.
"If you're working outdoors, you're at risk for heat-related illnesses that can cause serious medical problems and even death," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "But heat illness can be prevented. This Labor Department campaign will reach across the country with a very simple message - water, rest and shade."
Many Missouri outdoor job sites in the summers have radiant heat sources, along with high temperatures and humidity levels. The work frequently includes heavy physical labor and/or direct physical contact with hot objects. These factors directly increase the chances for heat stress-related illness.
For these reasons, OSHA has long had safety standards in place to prevent heat-related illness and fatalities; this issue is certainly not a new one. However, unfortunately, there are still too many Missouri employers and job supervisors who don't follow OSHA's regulations, which puts their workers at risk.