Preventing Heat-Related Injury and Illness This Summer

August and September can be some of the most sweltering months each year. As temperatures continue to soar both outside and in the plant, it’s important to take the proper precautions to protect your workers from suffering heat-induced injury and illness on the job this summer. Therefore, a comprehensive New Mexico Manufacturing Workers’ Compensation is a must-have for securing your firm and your employees during these high-risk months.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2014 alone 2,630 workers suffered from heat illness and 18 actually died on the job from heat stroke and related causes. Heat-related illnesses range from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

As personnel in manufacturing firms often wear heavy protective equipment, it’s more difficult for the body to cool itself simply by sweating. Instead, these materials often trap heat and cause the body’s internal temperature to rise and cause heat-induced illnesses.

Further, work conditions can contribute to heat-related illnesses. Lack of ventilation at the physical plant, lack of easy access to water, and machines or equipment generating heat can combine to produce a hotter-than-usual work environment. Moreover, in certain situations, a central air system will not be effective because there are sources of high heat present in the workplace. Therefore, heat-generating machines should be equipped with exhaust ventilation to reduce this risk. Further, ensure workers get adequate breaks and have realistic production schedules to prevent them from overexerting themselves, which can also lead to heat exhaustion.

As these environments create more risk for increased workers’ compensation costs, consider the following:

  • Provide workers with water, shade, and rest breaks.
  • Monitor workers for signs of exhaustion and train employees on how to prevent and manage heat-induced illness and injury.
  • Allow workers to slowly build tolerance for the heat in their working environments.
  • Require workers to drink plenty of water, even if they aren’t thirsty.
  • Learn the signs of heat injury and illness and have employees keep an eye on each other.

At Daniels Insurance, Inc., our workers’ compensation insurance programs will protect your employees for on-the-job injuries, accidents and illnesses. In addition, we will conduct a review of all documents and factors that go into determining your workers’ compensation premium to see if there are any miscalculations. For more information, contact us today at 855.565.7616.

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