“I think they need to use sunscreen to prevent sunburn. They need to wear light, ventilated clothing, particularly shorts, venitlated shirts, a hat that is ventilated to allow air flow,” Adams said. “They need to hydrate themselves; drink a lot of fluids, particularly water; get into the shade as often as you can; take a rest.”
Adams said if a person gets dizzy, tired or weak, they need to get out of the sun and into a cooler place.
“The older you are, and the more chronic conditions you have, you put yourself at greater risk for heat stroke and other complications, perhaps even heart disease could flare up with a heart attack or even things like strokes,” Adams said. “I think when it gets into the mid 90’s, like we are seeing now, that is a heat emergency, and we need to be very careful about it.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced a new education and outreach initiative aimed at the hazards of working outdoors in the heat and the steps needed to prevent heat illness.
“If you’re working outdoors, you’re at risk for heat-related illnesses that can cause serious medical problems and even death,” Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said. “But heat illness can be prevented. This Labor Department campaign will reach across the country with a very simple message — water, rest and shade.”
The Labor Department says workers in a variety of industries are vulnerable to heat illness. These include, among others: roofing contractors; used car dealers; farm workers; landscaping services and highway, street, and bridge construction.
OSHA has developed new educational materials, available both in English and Spanish, as well as a new educational curriculum for employers and workers. A new 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. The website can be found at www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html.
FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232, or firstname.lastname@example.org.