Does OSHA require employees to receive heat stress training?
No, OSHA does not have a specific regulation regarding heat stress. However, a number of OSHA standards involve the prevention and understanding of heat-related illnesses. Heat stress hazards are considered "recognizable hazards" and can be cited using the General Duty Clause. OSHA has issued guidelines for employers to ensure that employees are protected from heat stress. All employees should be trained on heat illness prevention: knowing how to react in such an emergency, what factors increase risk for heat illness, basic prevention steps, common signs and symptoms of heat illness, etc.
Are we responsible for providing water to employees or can they bring their own water?
Yes. According to 1915.88: "the employer shall provide potable water for all employee health and personal needs and ensure that only potable water is used for these purposes […] The employer shall provide potable drinking water in amounts that are adequate to meet the health and personal needs of each employee […] The employer shall dispense drinking water from a fountain, a covered container with single-use drinking cups stored in a sanitary receptacle, or single-use bottles. The employer shall prohibit the use of shared drinking cups, dippers, and water bottles."
Has OSHA ever used the General Duty Clause to fine employers for heat stress related issues?
Absolutely. For instance, Post Buckley Schuh & Jeringan, Inc., violated the General Duty Clause in August 2010 when an employee working in the heat lost consciousness and died after being transported to the ER.
How do I know if it’s too hot for workers to be working in a particular environment?
The heat index (which indicates both temperature and humidity) is a very useful tool to judge whether working conditions are safe or extreme. As a general rule of thumb, temperatures less than 91°F = low-risk; 91°-103° = moderate risk (employers must implement precautions); 103°-115° = high risk (additional precautions must be taken); and temperatures above 115° = extreme risk (don’t even think about it). Further clues of increasingly risky conditions include: increasing humidity, stronger sun glare, and lack of air movement. Protective (possibly stifling) clothing and gear and strenuous work must also be taken into account.
How often should water breaks be permitted in a working environment of extreme heat?
Employers should allow frequent water and rest breaks as necessary, and should furthermore remind employees to maintain good hydration (and, to their best ability, ensure that employees do so). In extreme conditions, we should drink about 6 oz (a medium-sized glass-full) of water every 15 minutes, but no more than 12 quarts of fluid within 24 hours.
DVD cost effectively trains and retrains an unlimited amount of employees.
No trainer required, just pop in and play.
Video content keeps trainees engaged.
Very convenient, multiple employees don’t need to be pulled off the floor at once for a training session.
Includes both video content and an interactive quiz element to keep workers engaged.
More engaging than traditional training formats.
Can be customized to fit a companies specific work environment and equipment.
The only training option that can cover the "hands on" and "evaluation" portions of the training in addition to the "classroom" portion of the training.
Can be difficult to pull multiple workers off the floor at once to watch the video.
The DVD can get lost or scratched.
DVD can only train workers at a single location.
Due to the per person pricing format, it’s expensive for large companies that need to train hundreds or thousands of employees.
By far the most expensive training medium.
Administering refresher training as well as initial training for new employees can be a logistical nightmare.
NOTE: All information provided on this site is provided for information purposes only. It is not intended as legal or compliance advice and does not represent advice with regard to specific practices or undertakings. Compliance and Safety shall not be responsible for any damages including direct, indirect, special, punitive, incidental, exemplary, consequential damages, lost revenues, lost profits, damage to or loss of products, loss of data, or any claims or damages whatsoever, arising out of or in connection with your use of this web site or any linked external sites.