OSHA Changes Heat Policy - Innovative Tool Helps Employers Comply

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HeatAlert® tool helps employers achieve OSHA compliance & reduces the risk of heat stress, heat stroke, or other related heat Injuries.

Federal Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad” (Jan. 27, 2021) has resulted in sweeping changes in OSHA’s policy regarding the prevention of workplace heat illness. As global temperatures continue to rise, workers find themselves in greater danger of suffering from occupational heat injuries and OSHA has enacted new policies to address this danger.

OSHA Sets a New Threshold for Dangerous Conditions
OSHA uses the National Weather Service’s heat index to categorize levels of potential danger. The heat index is a combination of air temperature and humidity and is often described as what the temperature “actually feels like”. The index is broken down into 4 levels of danger, (caution, extreme caution, danger, and extreme danger). OSHA just set a new standard by lowering those thresholds and they further defined what employers must do to protect their workers to be OSHA compliant. They have also committed to increased enforcement activity in both scheduled and unscheduled worksite inspections. The caution level starts at a heat index of 80 degrees and is now recognized by OSHA as a measurable threshold at which employees could suffer a debilitating heat related injury.

Summary of OSHA’s New Policy
The new OSHA policy states that employers with more than 10 employees must do the following to comply with the new policy.

  • have a written heat stress alleviation policy
  • train staff to recognize the symptoms and early warning signs of heat illness
  • measure, calculate, and record the heat index in all indoor and outdoor work zones
  • provide abundant cool, hydrating liquids near work zones
  • facilitate the reduction of body temperature via

o cooling zones
o drinking more water
o more frequent breaks
o less strenuous continuous work expectations
o allow employees time to acclimate to rising temperatures

Monitoring and Recording is the Challenge - HeatAlert® Solves the Problem
The biggest challenge for many employers is measuring, calculating, and recording the heat index, in a timely manner, and communicating with employees when the heat index reaches the caution or danger level. This is where the patented new monitoring tools from HeatAlert® are helping employers protect their workforce and achieve OSHA compliance.

HeatAlert® Monitoring Tools continually measure the air temperature and humidity, calculate the heat index and record the data. When the index reaches 80 degrees an Amber strobe light makes the “caution condition” visible to alert employees that they have surpassed the 80 degree caution threshold and need to implement the company’s Heat Illness Alleviation Policy. If the heat index reaches the extreme caution level, the strobe light will be Red. When the heat index reaches the danger level, both Amber and Red strobe lights begin to flash. Employees can visually see the level of danger, so they can adjust accordingly. HeatAlert® Monitoring Tools can also send a message to a supervisor alerting them of the dangerous conditions.

Heat illness sneaks up on its victims and many people who suffer a debilitating heat injury don’t recognize the danger until it is too late. HeatAlert® Monitoring Tools provide critical information to workers, at the onset of the dangerous conditions, so they know they need to take steps to protect themselves.
Not only do HeatAlert® tools help employers comply with OSHA’s new heat illness policy, they also provide workers with the life-saving knowledge that dangerous unseen conditions exist in their work environment.

HeatAlert® Monitoring Tools can be installed in both indoor and outdoor work zones to provide life-saving information to a wide range of industrial and agricultural workers.

Learn more about these vital work zone tools.
http://www.HeatAlert.com or call Michael @ 503-692-6656 or (US Tollfree) 1-800-831-4551

Find out how HeatAlert® Monitoring Tools can lower the risk of occupational heat injuries and help employers achieve OSHA compliance.

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Michael Shipley

Peggy Dent