The Center for Disease Control just released a study of heat-related fatalities. The short version is that employers need to do more to acclimatize personnel who work in heat. The CDC studied 20 OSHA investigations into heat-related deaths or injuries. In 13 of the cases, a worker died. According to the CDC, in nine of those 13 cases, the workers died within three days of going on the job. That means a full two thirds of the deaths involved workers who were brand new.
The study showed that in all 20 cases, companies did not have heat illness prevention programs or the programs were found to be inadequate. The CDC also said that companies had no provisions for acclimatizing new workers to the heat, meaning allowing workers to “gradually build up workloads and exposure to heat by taking frequent breaks for water and rest in shade or air conditioning.”
So the question is, what does your heat program look like?