OSHA Launches Heat Campaign to Protect Outdoor Workers [AUDIO]
As temperatures continue to flirt with the triple digits, the US Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is hoping to protect the safety of those who have to work outdoors.
OSHA has launched its Heat Campaign focusing on preventing heat-related illnesses among construction, landscaping, manufacturing and agriculture workers through out the Garden State.
OSHA Area Director Paula Dixon-Roderick, who's region runs from Monmouth to Cape May Counties, says they've already gotten a handful of calls this week of possible violations.
"Last year when we started this campaign we were able to save numerous lives. Granted, there were a few fatalities but we were able to reach out to the most vulnerable people."
Dixon-Roderick says the Heat Campaign is simple, emphasizing the need of employers to provide cold water, periods of rest and shade for those working in the oppressive heat.
"It's important that employers encourage employees to drink plenty of water, to get plenty of rest and to seek as much shade through out the day as much as possible."
OSHA also created a new Heat Safety Tool Smartphone App, which allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers.
"And if you have an employer who's not following heat precautions, the App can also give you a direct line so you can send in a complaint to a local OSHA area office.
She says employers have a legal obligation to put measures in place and violators can face thousands of dollars in fines.
OSHA provides fact sheets, posters and other easy-to-understand information for workers and employers to help them identify and prevent heat-related illnesses and injuries online. She says they also provide a top 10 list of violations cited in New Jersey and New York at work cites rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy. You can phone complaints to OSHA at their hotline 800 321 OSHA (6742)