US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association
Do you know there is a new tool right at your fingertips that can help keep workers safe from heat illness? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has collaborated with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to release the re-designed, co-branded OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool smartphone app. The app is available for download on both iOS and Android devices and features the following:
- A visual indicator of the current heat index and associated risk levels specific to your current geographical location;
- Precautionary recommendations specific to heat index-associated risk level;
- An interactive, hourly forecast of heat index values, risk level and recommendations for planning outdoor work activities in advance;
- Editable location, temperature and humidity controls for calculation of variable conditions;
- Signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses including: heat stroke, heat exhaustion, rhabdomyolysis, heat cramps and heat rash; and
- First aid information for heat-related illnesses.
Every year, dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill while working in extreme heat or humid conditions. Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards. This includes protecting workers from extreme heat. An employer with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a complete heat illness prevention program.
- Provide workers with water, rest and shade.
- Allow new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as they acclimatize, or build a tolerance for working in the heat.
- Plan for emergencies and train workers on prevention.
- Monitor workers for signs of illness.
For more information on this topic, about this app and on how three simple words—Water, Rest, Shade—can help prevent heat-related illness and fatalities, visit OSHA’s Occupational Exposure to Heat page.
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