As we near the height of summer, it’s important to think about sun safety when you’re on the job. Heat related illness is a big risk when employees are exposed to heat stress in the workplace, and sun safety should be a big part of workplace safety training for the summer months.
Fortunately, the OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Program seeks to eliminate the risk of heat related illness in the workplace. If you’re curious about the OSHA heat guidelines, here is a breakdown of what to do and why it’s important.
The Dangers of the Sun
When talking about workplace safety, heat stress should be a major topic of discussion. In addition to the risks that come along with sun exposure, such as sunburn that can lead to skin cancer, workers risk becoming dehydrated and falling victim to heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
The OSHA Heat Safety program urges employers and workers alike to be aware of these risks, and anyone can request a workplace risk assessment from the OSHA website at any time if they suspect their workplace isn’t up to code.
Water. Rest. Shade.
OSHA is pushing these three workplace safety tips to keep you protected during the summer months: water, rest, and shade. Be sure to stay hydrated when on the job—drink more water than you think you need, especially if you’re sweating a lot. By the time you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. Try to work in the shade as much as possible and take breaks often to rest so that you don’t over-exert yourself.
If you feel dizzy, nauseous, or experience a headache or rapid heartbeat, remove yourself to a cool, shady area immediately to rest. If you do not feel better or your condition worsens, head to the emergency room immediately.
If you’ve been injured on the job due to sun exposure, the Injured Federal Workers Advocate Association is here to help. Contact us today to discuss the nature of your problem and we can provide you with the resources you need to proceed.