OSHA stresses importance of worker safety in heat - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

OSHA stresses importance of worker safety in heat

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL) -

The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is continuing to emphasize its education and outreach initiative aimed at the hazards of working outdoors in the heat and the steps needed to prevent heat illness especially during this week's significant heat wave in the Midwest.

Each year, thousands of outdoor workers experience heat illness such as heat exhaustion.  In 2009, there were over 1,790 cases of workers becoming seriously ill due to heat.  If not quickly addressed, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke – which killed 30 workers last year.

"As we move into the summer months, it becomes even more important for workers and employers to take the steps necessary to stay safe in extreme heat," said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels.  "Drinking water often, taking breaks, and limiting time in the heat are simple, effective ways to prevent heat illness." 

A new OSHA website provides information on heat illness and contains resources aimed at educating workers and employers on the symptoms of heat illness, how to prevent it, and what to do in case of an emergency. 

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