Maryland Construction and Farm Worker Safety : OSHA Launches Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness and Death in Outdoor Workers
"Is it hot enough for you?" Folks jokingly use that rather tepid greeting when temperatures rise to uncomfortable levels. However heat stroke is no laughing matter. Vast parts of the U.S. have experienced record-breaking heat this summer, with some states seeing temps soar and stay above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Baltimore, Maryland and entire the Mid-Atlantic region have not escaped the brutal heat, as we've sweated under a heat advisory for much of the summer.
People who work outside in Maryland performing manual labor jobs at are greater risk for suffering heat stroke and heat-related illnesses, which can lead to death. This includes people who work in the construction industry as well as farm workers in Maryland.
With these hard-working people and their employers in mind, the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) announced a national campaign aimed at preventing worker injury and death from heat-related illness. The Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers aims to educate business owners, managers, and employees to learn who is at risk, the signs of heat illness, and how to respond if a worker is in distress.
Baltimore County, Maryland work accident injury lawyers advise injured employees and grieving families, when a work-related accident or illness causes injury or death. With sustained hot temperatures in Maryland and across the country, it's no wonder OSHA has made preventing heat injuries and deaths a priority.
OSHA reports that workers most at risk of heat related illness include those performing manual labor outdoors, wearing heavy or bulky and protective clothing, and those not accustomed to working in the heat. Heat stroke occurs when sweating is not enough for the body to cool itself, and body temperatures rise to dangerous levels. Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention and can be fatal.
Maryland Workers' Compensation claims may be filed in a broad range of accident injury and illness cases, including those caused by heat stroke. Here in Maryland, a wide range of workers perform heavy labor outside in the brutal heat, including construction workers (such as builders, roofers, carpenters, road and and highway construction workers in Maryland), public works personnel in our Maryland towns and cities, utility repair people, and farm workers harvesting our fields and operating farm vehicles and other heavy agricultural equipment.
Maryland is part of the OSHA Region 3 office in Philadelphia, which includes Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and West Virginia. OSHA has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as part of the heat illness prevention campaign. NOAA now includes worker safety precautions when extreme heat alerts are issued to the public (see links below).
OSHA recommends outdoor workers drink plenty of water, take breaks, and find shade to rest. The organization also hopes to educate employers and workers on the warning signs of heat stroke, and how to react if a worker becomes sick from the heat. In addition to targeting heat related illnesses in workers this summer, OSHA also launched a national construction slip and fall accidents prevention campaign. See related article below.
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