Summer Safety Initiatives to Consider
We hope everyone is having a safe start to the summer months. As the temperature outside increases, employers should once again be mindful that summer temperatures can create a risk of heat illness for both indoor and outdoor workers. Even though federal OSHA does not have a specific heat illness standard, employers whose employees are potentially exposed to hot temperatures must protect their employees from the hazards related extreme heat exposure under the General Duty Clause. The heat illness prevention campaign – which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) summarizes with the reminder “WATER. REST. SHADE.” – provides a number of resources on effective ways to protect employees from heat illness.
The summer months also result in an influx of young workers to the workforce as spring semesters have ended at most colleges and universities. Employers must remember to ensure that all summer workers receive proper training on the required job duties and that all summer workers understand the importance of safety. OSHA has published some resources for employers to use to ensure that all employees, including summer employees, stay safe.
Later this summer, OSHA will conduct its now-annual Safe + Sound Campaign, which is “[a] nationwide event to raise awareness and understanding of the value of safety and health programs that include management leadership, worker participation, and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards in the workplaces.” The campaign provides employers with a number or resources that can be used to enhance safety and health programs, such as tips on improving safety conversations and communication. Of course, employers do not need to wait until August to implement some of the tips that OSHA has published with the campaign. Employers should take any opportunity to ingrain safety and health into their workplace culture .