Dangerous Heat For Working Outdoors

With metro Atlanta baking in the August sun, the extreme heat can be dangerous for anyone working outside.

In the Southeast Region, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is investigating two fatalities and two hospitalizations related to employees working in the heat.

OSHA's Assistant Area Director for the Atlanta West office, Jeffrey Stawowy, tells WSB there are precautions to help protect workers. He recommends "Providing water, rest and shade at frequent intervals."

The most at-risk jobs are construction, transportation, agriculture and landscapers.

Stawowy said you should be able to recognize when someone's body is reacting to the heat and how to take corrective measures.

As the weather gets hotter, he said it's important to increase the frequency of breaks.

OSHA offers an app that calculates the heat index for a specific work site. "It tells you what kind of risk the current weather is," Stawowy said. The app also includes information on how to stay safe and how employers can protect their workers in extreme heat.

OSHA says extreme heat kills dozens of workers every year and sickens thousands more. They advise employers to plan for emergencies, train workers on prevention and monitor employees for signs of illness.

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