This summer has been a real scorcher in Pennsylvania as well as most of the other states. And while the hot weather may be welcomed by those with access to pools and lakes, it is making the lives of people who work outside miserable.
In fact, the extreme heat can be downright dangerous for workers and causes thousands of illnesses and dozens of fatalities each summer.
This is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has kicked off a campaign to send one simple message to workers and their employers: “Water. Rest. Shade. The work can’t get done without them.”
There were 33 on-the-job deaths attributed to heat in 2009, according to OSHA’s statistics. Workers in the agriculture, mining and construction industries were at risk to heat-related death and illnesses.
“July was the hottest on record in most of the U.S., and it’s important for all employers and workers to be aware of this,” said OSHA’s assistant secretary of labor. “The symptoms of heat are often not easily recognizable.”
Typically, the highest number of deaths occurs in the hottest states. But this year, it’s the states like Pennsylvania that don’t often experience intense heat that need to be the most careful.
“One of factors of heat fatalities is acclimation,” the OSHA spokesman said. “Places where heat is not a normal condition are of great concern, including North Central states and New England.”
According to OSHA’s statistics from 2009, there are five jobs that are particularly dangerous during the sizzling summer months. The dangerous jobs include: roofing, baggage handling, foundry work, road construction and farming.
If you work one of these jobs, or know someone who does, check back later this week for more from OSHA on how to stay safe in the summer heat.
Source: msnbc.com, “Feeling the heat: Most dangerous summer jobs,” Eve Tahmincioglu, Aug. 8, 2011.