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KSRE Tuesday Letter

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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

July 11, 2017


Submitted by Sandra Hoffman

Heat Illness

It’s summer in Kansas when temperatures and humidity begin to soar outdoors. OSHA has launched a campaign to prevent heat-related Illnesses in workers. OSHA indicates, every year dozens of workers die and thousands become ill. Their campaign message is simple: WATER.REST.SHADE.

 Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
 Rest in the shade to cool down.
 Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
 Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
 Keep an eye on fellow workers.
 Acclimate – "easy does it" on your first days of work; be sure to get used to the heat and allow yourself to build up a tolerance. Not being used to the heat is a big problem. Many of the people who died from heat stress were either new to working in the heat or returning from a break. If a worker has not worked in hot weather for a week or more, their body needs time to adjust.

In addition, OSHA has created an app for Android and IPhone that calculates the heat index for your specific work area. It displays the risk level and protective measures that should be taken. Use the following links to gain more information on how to prevent heat illnesses and access the safety tool app.

OSHA Quick Card: Protecting Workers from Heat Stress: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3154.pdf

OSHA Heat Safety Tool: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/heat_app.html