FRANKFORT, Ky. (6/11/13) – The Kentucky Labor Cabinet this summer is reminding workers about the dangers of working in hot and humid environments. Many employees suffer heat-related illnesses, and tragically, some can even perish due to extreme conditions.
In order to minimize the adverse effects of exposure to extreme heat, cabinet employees will be providing information related to the prevention of heat-related illness. Employees and employers also will receive instruction on how to recognize the signs and symptoms and how to handle heat-related health emergencies.
One important fact to remember, according to Labor Cabinet Secretary Larry Roberts, is that heat illnesses and deaths are preventable. “Allowing additional break periods, ensuring that employees drink adequate amounts of water and providing shade or cooled environments are safeguards employers can apply to make certain workers do not experience a heat-related illness.
“Co-workers should routinely check on each other during extreme conditions. Remember three words: water, rest and shade,” said Roberts.
To protect workers, employers should:
•Learn the signs and symptoms of heat-induced illnesses and what to do to help the worker;
•Train the workforce about heat-induced illnesses;
•Perform the heaviest work in the coolest part of the day;
•Slowly build up tolerance to the heat;
•Work in pairs;
•Drink plenty of cool water;
•Ask employees to wear light, loose-fitting, breathable clothing; and
•Take frequent breaks.
Information provided by Ricki Gardenhire
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