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Labor department aims to prevent heat-related injuries

As the June heat creeps and sets in across North Carolina, area residents are feeling the effects. While many North Carolina residents welcome the sun and heat and look forward to enjoying summertime activities, such heat and high temperatures  can be deadly to workers who carry out the majority of work duties outside. While workers in industries such as construction and argiculture are most readily impacted, even workers who spend a few minutes outside in extreme heat may suffer heat-induced injuries.

According to the U.S. Department fo Labor, each year thousands of American workers suffer from heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke. Depending on an individual's physical health, being exposed to extreme heat conditions even for a few minutes can potentially be dangerous and life-threatening. In some cases, exposure to high temperatures and humidity put undue stress on an individual's body. If an individual has an underlying medical condition, such as heart disease, they could easily suffer a stroke or heart attack.

In an effort to reduce and prevent the number of heat-related workplace injuries, officials at the U.S. Labor Department have developed educational and training materials. By disseminating these materials, officials at the federal agency hope to raise awareness among both employers and workers of the dangers associated with working in the extreme heat.

Included in the training materials is information related to a new mobile application that provides information to current heat index conditions. This app allows workers and employers to receive current information about potentially dangerous work conditions and take steps to prevent suffering dehydration, heat stroke or other heat-induced injuries.

 

Source: WEKU, "New OSHA App meant to Keep Workers Cooler," Stu Johnson, June 3, 2013

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