Understanding the potential harm caused by working in high temperatures is only the first step when it comes to protecting your employees. The next and most vital step is developing a thorough Heat Stress Prevention Program for your company. This starts with inspecting your workplace with a focus on location, time of year, geography, and risk factors and then building a comprehensive program around the results.
Program development is generally broken down into four basic focus points, which are then expanded based on your workplace’s unique characteristics and the work being performed:
- Evaluate a particular date to determine whether heat stress is an issue by looking at temperature and humidity levels. Use this information to implement the appropriate controls and procedures to reduce risks.
- Define the essential, company-wide provisions to be implemented in order to reduce the risks of heat-related illnesses, and when they will be implemented. Some examples of provisions can include acclimatization programs, a work/rest rotation schedule, or providing shaded, cool areas for rest.
- Provide plenty of cool, potable water for all employees on site, and encourage them to drink it.
- Train workers on how to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, and what steps should be taken to prevent them. Workers should also know what to do in the event they or another worker are showing signs of heat stress.
Source: Safety Services