As temperatures across the country escalate, U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials reiterated their “Water. Rest. Shade.” mantra for outdoor workers, employing an array of awareness initiatives.
The agency emphasized its three-point message for those working outside during hot weather.
- Water: You need plenty of water throughout the day—every 15 minutes. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty,
- Rest: Rest breaks help your body recover.
- Shade: Resting in the shade or in air conditioning helps you cool down.
OSHA Talks to Weather Professionals
OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels recently spoke with 80 meteorologists and weather broadcasters about the agency’s national outreach initiative to educate workers and their employers about the hazards of working outdoors in hot weather, the department announced.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Micheals also met with Steven Cooper, acting deputy director of the National Weather Service, to discuss the populations most at risk, the importance of acclimatization, and the value of using the “buddy system” to look out for heat-illness warning signs in coworkers.
Bilingual Billboards across Four States
In addition, OSHA announced plans to post more than 100 “Water. Rest. Shade.” billboards across four states to educate employers and workers.
OSHA said the billboards will appear in Arkansas, Florida, Texas and Illinois—the four states with the highest number of occupational heat-related fatalities in 2010.
The billboards direct viewers, in both English and Spanish, to visit OSHA’s heat-illness website for educational materials, a smart-phone application, workplace training, and other information on how to prevent heat illness and what to do in case of an emergency, OSHA said.
The billboards will be used through August, the agency said.
OSHA said its offices around the country are also responding to the summer heat with resources, information and outreach, including radio interviews and new wallet cards.
The cards, which are small enough for workers and employers to carry in their wallets, list some heat-illness symptoms to watch out for, as well as a QR code that workers and employers can scan with any smart phone to access OSHA’s Heat page and online resources.
Smart-phone users with a camera phone can download a free QR reader from their app store and scan the image to open a website in their phone’s browser, OSHA said.
OSHA also said iPhone and Android users can download the OSHA Heat App, which just reached the benchmark of more than 25,000 downloads.
More information: OSHA Heat Illness Awareness Campaign.