Keep crews safe in the heat Email
Wednesday, June 24, 2020 01:00 AM

shadeIt’s hot out there, and landscape professionals are as busy as ever, often working hard in record-breaking temperatures. That poses a risk for heat illness, so it’s important to train your crews in proper heat safety measures. Incorporate heat safety into your safety talks and be sure that workers know how to recognize heat illness and how to respond.

There are two types of heat illness: heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Each has its own unique symptoms, but both are serious and can result in death if not recognized and properly treated. CDC offers a poster in English and in Spanish, detailing the symptoms of each and how to respond.

OSHA’s recommendations to prevent heat illness can be summed up in three words: water, rest, and shade. Landscape companies should provide plenty of cool water and shade for employees, as well as rest periods to take advantage of each. They list five steps to keep workers safe in hot conditions:

  1. Drink water even if you aren’t thirsty--every 15 minutes.
  2. Know where you are working in case you need to call 911.
  3. Rest in the shade.
  4. Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
  5. Watch out for each other.

OSHA has a wealth of resources for employers for training employees and putting a plan in place. Employers can even download a sample heat safety training program from the OSHA website. Multiple federal agencies have joined forces to present the National Integrated Heat Health Information System.  There’s also the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool for iPhones and Android devices.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
Supporting pollinators is good for business
More than milkweed: plants for pollinators
Presidential order halts H-2B visas for 2020
Houzz finds homeowners moving forward with renovations