With the entire country starting off to a hot summer, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is stressing the dangers of working in the heat. OSHA launched its Heat Awareness campaign in early May.
Construction workers do most of their work in the summer, sometimes working 10 hour days, C and K Roofing and Construction Project Manager Chris Brown told reporters at WAFF.com. Brown, who manages sites in Huntsville, Alabama, says safety if a top priority for his crews.
“Between one and two o’clock, I have the guys come off the roofs and I have them take a break underneath the shade, trying to cool down,” says Brown. “If we continue pushing and pushing, someone’s going to end up falling out.”
Approximately 4,100 worker injuries were attributed to heat in 2010, and 40 of the victims died from injuries related to heat, according to regional OSHA director Roberto Sanchez.
“We’re trying to educate the employer so they can take steps either training the employee or providing the means for the employee to protect themselves,” says Sanchez. “Heat is a recognized hazard so to the extent that we can show that the employer knew that his employees were exposed to heat related illness and didn’t do anything to prevent that from happening, we can issue a citation.”
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