Construction Summer Safety: Preventing Overheating

There are 807,360 construction laborers in the US, according to United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. With that many laborers, it’s a necessity to have liability insurance for construction workers. With the need for construction comes risk during summer months, especially if you work in an areas of humidity or desert heat. For those who are employed in this field it’s always best to be prepared, properly dressed and adequately hydrated, and to have a liability insurance program for construction workers.

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a campaign in 2011 to educate workers and employers on heat illness prevention and safety. With OSHA’s help, construction work doesn’t have to be so grueling and construction liability insurance just becomes a safety net for your company. Here are some ways to prevent overheating during the summer.

The Dangers of Working in the Heat

There isn’t a year that goes by where someone does not pass away or become ill while working in extreme heat or humid conditions. More than 40 percent of heat-related deaths that occur are in the construction industry, but all fields are susceptible to the heat. Heat illnesses are not few and far between and they can affect anyone, regardless of age or physical condition. OSHA’s motto comes down to three key words: water, rest, and shade.

The Employer’s Responsibility to Protect Workers

Under OSHA regulations, employers have to have a workplace that is free of known safety hazards. This is including construction workers who have to work in extreme conditions. Workers must be protected from the weather. Employers who have their workers in the heat often should have some kind of heat prevention program in place. Employers must be able to:

  • Provide water, rest and shade
  • Monitor workers for signs of illness
  • Plan for emergencies
  • Train workers on prevention
  • Allow new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as the slowly build a tolerance for working in the heat.

Construction employment has risen in 42 states and D.C. over the past year while 28 states added new construction projects this past month, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. With summer right on our heels, make sure that your employees are prepared for the heat. Paired with sensible and breathable work clothes, water should be more than enough to keep your workers safe.


About ISU / The Olson Duncan Agency

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