Six Proactive Steps to Prevent Heat Illness During a Scorching Summer

Author, Dave Garcia, President, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

 Thermometer with Sun in Sky

The National Weather Service has issued heat warnings for many parts of California starting today, and excessive heat warnings for some other areas. Temperatures are expected to rise to 110ºF in some parts of the Sacramento Valley, for instance. In the desert areas of Imperial and San Diego counties, they will soar as high as 114ºF.

Recommendation

If you have employees working outdoors, you should have an effective heat illness prevention plan in place and train your workers on it's content. Elements of the plan include:

  1. Making sure those toiling outside have plenty of fresh, cool water – workers need to drink at least a quart an hour. Just providing it isn’t enough, according to the heat illness prevention standard (General Industry Safety Orders section 3395). You must encourage employees to drink water.
  2. Providing shade when the temperature reaches 80ºF, or when employees request it. 
  3. If an employee is in danger of developing heat illness, they must be allowed to take a rest in the shade until their symptoms disappear.
  4. Having emergency procedures, including effective communication with workers in remote areas.
  5. Designating employees at each work site to call emergency medical services if someone starts to develop heat illness.
  6. Keeping a close eye on workers who have been on the job for two weeks or less. They may not have the prior training to be aware of the early signs of heat illness.

In order to prepare our clients, Rancho Mesa recently conducted a Heat Illness Prevention Workshop. For those of you who were not able to attend, the training videos are available in the Risk Management Center or via the Workshop Video Request Form.

Should you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact a member of your Rancho Mesa team. Please be safe!!