OSHA app helps employers respect the heat, and heat-related illness

Posted at 6:36 PM, Jul 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-20 18:42:08-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- On Monday the heat index got into triple digits, and the same is expected Tuesday. For those who work outside, it can be dangerous.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sent a reminder to employers to protect their workers from heat-related illness by making sure they have plenty of water, take extra breaks and find shade to cool off.

Some lawn maintenance and construction crews will adjust their schedules, and spend Monday and Tuesday going to work early -- some three hours early -- so they can clock out early afternoon.

Water coolers with ice, and cool rags around the neck are now mainstays for work crews battling the heat.

Water and drinking plenty of it is considered the key to staying hydrated.

OSHA is offering employers a free "Heat Safety Tool App" to calculate the heat index. The app allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers.

Then, with a simple "click," you can get reminders about the protective measures that should be taken at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness. There are reminders about drinking enough fluids, scheduling rest breaks, planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency, adjusting work operations, gradually building up the workload for new workers, training on heat illness signs and symptoms, and monitoring each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.

Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep this in mind and plan additional precautions for working in these conditions, OSHA said.

The OSHA Heat Tool is available in Spanish for Android and iPhone devices. To access the Spanish version on the iPhone, set the phone language setting to Spanish before downloading the app.

Check it out here:

And download the new CBS 6 Weather Authority app to stay weather aware.

The free app is the easiest way to track severe weather and Central Virginia’s most accurate forecast on your iPhone/iPad or Android phone or tablet. Plus, the app has enhanced features, like lightning and severe weather alerts, to keep your family safe. [iPhone/iPad App | Android App]