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Employers protect workers from heat

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Employers are working to protect outdoor employees from the summer heat. With employees sometimes working in intense summer temperatures, state and federal agencies are warning employers that heat-related injuries affect thousands of employees every year, according to USA Today.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there were 2,600 heat-related work injuries or illnesses in 2005—most were in construction and transportation and were most likely to happen between noon and 4 p.m.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration spokesman Kelly Rowe says though there are no specific federal regulations that mandate breaks or water consumption for employees working in the heat, companies still need to offer a safe place for employees.

However, some states have established laws to protect outdoor workers from the heat. Washington requires that employers provide breaks, encourage water intake and establish procedures to respond to heat-related injuries or illnesses.

In addition, there were 13 heat-related worker deaths in California during 2005, and California law requires employers to provide at least 1 quart of water per hour to outdoor workers, access to medical treatment for workers and training regarding heat-related injury risks.


7/24/2007

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