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July 12, 2012 7:55 AM CDT

OSHA calls for water, rest and shade

OSHA responds to the summer heat with resources, information

By Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Every year, thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and some even die.

Every year, thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and some even die.
On June 20, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels spoke with more than 80 meteorologists and weather broadcasters about OSHA's campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers. Secretary Solis, Dr. Michaels, and Acting Deputy Director of the National Weather Service Steven Cooper also discussed the populations most at risk, the importance of acclimatization, and the value of using the buddy system to look out for heat illness warning signs in coworkers. Read more about the heat call in Dr. Michaels' most recent post on the DOL blog.

In addition, OSHA is posting more than 100 “Water. Rest. Shade.” billboards across four states to educate employers and workers about the hazards of working outdoors in hot weather. The billboards will appear in Arkansas, Florida, Texas, and Illinois – the four states with the highest number of occupational heat-related fatalities in 2010. They direct viewers, in both English and Spanish, to visit OSHA's heat illness web page for bilingual educational materials, a downloadable smart phone app, workplace training, and other information on how to prevent heat illness and what to do in an emergency. The billboards, provided by Lamar Outdoor Advertising, will be in place for eight weeks, running from mid-June through August.

OSHA offices around the country are also responding to the summer heat with resources, information, and outreach, including radio interviews and new wallet cards. These new cards, which are small enough for workers and employers to carry in their wallets, include some heat illness symptoms to watch out for as well as a QR code that workers and employers can scan with any smartphone to access OSHA's Heat page and online resources. Smartphone users with a camera phone can download a free QR reader from their app store and scan the image to open a web page in their phone's browser. OSHA also encourages iPhone and Android users to download the OSHA Heat App, which just reached the benchmark of over 25,000 downloads. To order any of OSHA's materials in English or Spanish, call OSHA's Office of Communications at (202) 693-1999 or visit OSHA's Publications page.


About the Author

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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