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Before we know it, the summer months will be in full swing. Remember, those who work outdoors are at a much higher risk for heat exhaustion, dehydration, sunburn, skin cancer and more. Skin cancer affects more than two million people every year and invasive melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, will kill more than 10,000 Americans this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is one death every 52 minutes. As an employer, are you doing enough for your crew?
Know the warning signs of heat-related illness:
- Extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
- Weakness, dizziness or fainting
- Unusually elevated heart rate
- Fast and shallow breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle cramps
Protect your employees with these helpful tips:
- Rotate workers on a job site in and out of non-shaded areas, especially during the height of hazardous UV rays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Central Daylight Time).
- Consider including heat safety and skin cancer education in your regular safety training.
- Educate employees on the early signs of heat exhaustion, dehydration and skin cancer.
- Encourage employees to look out for each other to detect wooziness, inability to focus, unsteadiness and reddening of the skin.
- Use and make sunscreen readily available to your employees as well as other PPE, like UV-resistant sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats and re-fillable water containers.
- Create mandatory water breaks to re-hydrate the crew and provide them with plenty of water.
- Create and enforce policies about heat safety so employees know the company is serious about safety.
To Learn More, visit OSHA.gov
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