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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

OSHA reminds outdoor workers of dangers of heat-related illnesses

Today's post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from

Fall may be close, but Texans continue to experience summer temperatures, including a recent string of triple-digit days.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is urging employers to emphasize the hazards of heat illnesses to their employees who work outdoors. The agency has launched a public awareness campaign amid the warm temperatures about the consequences, whether heat stress, dehydration, heat stroke or death, that extreme heat can have on those working outdoors.

OSHA is investigating the death of an oilfield worker in Big Spring in early June as heat-related. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said in 2011, the most recent data available, Texas saw nine heat-related workplace fatalities and workers missed 600 days away from work due to heat-related illnesses.

Anthony Zacniewski, Health, Safety and Environment Director with Abilene-based Bandera Drilling, said rig moves were an issue during hot weather. Before the company built a comfort trailer in 2008, he said, there were four heat-related incidents.

"We have trained our personnel in hydration and breaks," he said by email. "During the extended hours of moving a rig, we bring out our comfort trailer. It is equipped with refrigerated air for cooling off. It is also stocked with water, Gatorade and fruit."

Since the trailer was implemented, he said, the company has not experienced one heat-related incident.

As part of its heat awareness campaign, OSHA is stressing three words: Water, Rest and Shade. Those working...

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