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OhioBWC - Home:  Current News

For immediate release: June 6, 2013

National Safety Month heating up attention on safety for outdoor workers

COLUMBUS - As summer approaches, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) is reminding workers whose jobs expose them to the elements to take precautions when working in the heat. BWC is recognizing National Safety Month, sponsored by the National Safety Council, with a beat the heat program highlighting simple steps - hydrate, cover, rest - that can save lives.

"We want to bring attention to this important issue as the summer days heat up. Working in the heat can be so dangerous," said Ohio BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "The good news is that injuries or even deaths are preventable if employers and workers take the time to become familiar with warning signs and know how to respond."

The summer months present particular dangers to outdoor workers, and one of the most serious is heat illness. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration reports thousands of workers in the United States got sick from exposure to heat on the job, and more than 30 workers died last year.

To recognize National Safety Month and bring attention to the dangers of heat illness, BWC, throughout the month of June, will distribute bottles of water and tip cards to those individuals most likely to be impacted by heat illness, such as construction and road workers. The goal is to educate employees on what the warning signs of heat illness are and give tips for preventing an emergency, including:

  • Hydrate with water every 15 minutes, even if you aren't thirsty;
  • Cover up with light clothes and a hat;
  • Rest regularly in cool shaded areas.

Workers are also encouraged to watch out for each other and take action if a coworker is exhibiting signs of heat illness. Additionally, because many outdoor workers change job sites routinely, it's important to become familiar with the work location in case there is a need to call for help.

"We encourage workers to be cautious and employers to partner with BWC by bringing attention to the importance of accident and injury prevention through safety education and training all year long," added Buehrer.

Visit ohiobwc.com's Safety Services section for more information about preventing accidents and injuries on the job.
Beat the Heat! (tip card)

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