Hot temperatures can make it tough for aerial lift operators to stay focused. As an employer, you are responsible for educating your aerial lift operators about heat stress safety. By educating your employees about heat stress prevention, you can help them avoid heat-related illnesses that lead to workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
What Is Heat Stress?
Heat stress occurs if the body cannot get rid of excess heat. In this instance, the body’s core temperature and heart rate rises.
High humidity and air temperatures are key contributors to heat stress. Also, heat stress can affect those who come into contact with hot objects or perform strenuous physical activities.
What Are the Symptoms of Heat Stress?
Aerial lift operators dealing with heat stress can experience a variety of symptoms. Initially, heat stress can cause operators to lose concentration. Heat stress can and cause operators to become irritable or sick or lose the desire to consume water or other liquids. It can even be fatal if it goes unaddressed for an extended period of time.
Furthermore, aerial lift operators age 65 years and older are more susceptible to heat stress than others. Those who are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications also face a higher risk of heat stress symptoms.
Why Is Heat Stress Prevention Important?
Heat stress prevention is critical for all businesses that employ aerial lift operators. Since operators may spend long periods of time in hot temperatures, their employers must take steps to protect these workers against heat stress. Otherwise, prolonged exposure to extreme heat can increase the risk of aerial lift accidents.
Heat Stress Safety Tips
Here are five things you can do to protect your aerial lift operators against heat stress:
Offer Regular Breaks:
Require operators to take regular breaks during the day. Operators should take frequent breaks in hot temperatures.
Help Your Workers Stay Hydrated:
Give your operators plenty of opportunities to drink water throughout the day. This helps reduce the risk of dehydration.
Wear Light-Colored Clothing:
Encourage your operators to wear light-colored clothing that helps them stay cool.
Keep an Eye Out for Warning Signs of Heat Stress:
Watch for operators who display any signs of heat stress. If an operator appears unfocused or fatigued, let him or her take a break. Or, seek out medical treatment.
Educate Your Workers About Heat Stress Safety:
Provide aerial lift safety training to educate your workers about heat stress and the dangers associated with it.
Remain persistent in your efforts to protect your workers against heat stress. That way, you can help your employees guard against heat stress and comply with OSHA regulations.
OSHA Heat Stress Safety Requirements
Up to 70% of outdoor fatalities occur in the first few days after employees work in hot temperatures, according to OSHA. Fortunately, you can establish a heat stress prevention program that aligns with OSHA requirements.
OSHA offers guidance to help businesses comply with heat stress safety regulations. Follow this guidance, and your business will be well-equipped to protect its workers against heat stress.
Learn More About Construction Heat Stress Safety
For those who want to learn more about heat stress safety for construction and other industries, CertifyMeOnline.net can help. We offer an OSHA-approved certification training program for aerial lift operators that provides insights into heat stress prevention and other safety topics.
We are happy to provide additional details about our training program, how it works, and its benefits. For more information about our program or to enroll your workers in it, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.