Oregon OSHA's

Health and Safety Resource

Newsletter
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August 5, 2016

Heat stress dangers are real

Identifying the risks is key

As temperatures rise this – and every – summer, employers face a critical task: helping workers protect themselves against heat-related illnesses.

Workers in Oregon tend to be more likely to suffer from heat-related illnesses, because they're used to working in mild weather and often not acclimated to this type of heat."

~ Penny Wolf-McCormick, health enforcement manager for Oregon OSHA

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Administrator's Message

Federal Decisions and Oregon Tailoring

What a new federal rule triggers is a requirement that we adopt a rule that is 'at least as effective' as the federal rule, generally within six months.

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Quotable:

Heat-related illnesses can be fatal, and employers are responsible for keeping workers safe. Employers can take a few easy steps to save lives, including scheduling frequent water breaks, providing shade, and allowing ample time to rest.”

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez

Use them, but don't lose them

How to prevent amputations at work

Unlike salamanders and newts, which can regenerate limbs, humans have only one set of appendages; a transplant or prosthesis is the only option for recovering the loss. Because our limbs are vulnerable, they're also an easy target on the battlefield and have been long been taken as a form of retribution for a variety of misdeeds.

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Did you know?

Datapoints:

  • Surfaces that exceed 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) are sources of infrared radiation that can add to a worker's heat load.
  • Workers should not be permitted to work when their deep body temperature exceeds 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.
  • In 2014 alone, 2,630 workers suffered from heat illness and 18 died from heat stroke and related causes on the job, according to federal OSHA.

Safety Notes

Incident: Run over by forklift
Industry: Berry processing plant
Victim: Farm employee

An employee was walking across a lot when he was run over by a forklift that was backing up.

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Going the distance

Company: Snyder, and exterior commercial contractor specializing in roofing and waterproofing

photo of Russell Nicolai

Environmental, Health and Safety Director: Russell Nicolai

Workforce: More than 350 employed in waterproofing, and industrial and commercial roofing in Oregon and Washington

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Ask Technical

I do maintenance work but don't use ladders often or climb very high on them. If I'm told to work 20 feet up on an extension ladder and that height makes me uncomfortable, do I have to do it?

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Don't miss out

Sept. 20 & 21, 2016
Central Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Conference
Riverhouse on the Deschutes • Bend

October 11-13, 2016
Southern Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Conference
Ashland Hills Hotel • Ashland

August-September
Upcoming education workshops

October 23, 2016 Award Nomination Deadline
Oregon Goveror's Occupational Safety & Health Conference

Get the details

Did you know?

Age, weight, degree of physical fitness, degree of acclimatization, metabolism, use of alcohol or drugs, and a variety of medical conditions such as hypertension all affect a person's sensitivity to heat.

To prevent heat illness, drink water every 15 minutes; rest in the shade when you need to cool down; wear a hat and light-colored clothing; take it easy on your first days of work in the heat; and watch for symptoms in your co-workers.

If not treated, heat exhaustion – the symptoms of which include dizziness, headache, and sweaty skin – can lead to heat stroke. The symptoms of heat stroke include red, dry skin, confusion, and fainting. Heat stroke can kill you.

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For general information, technical answers, or information about Oregon OSHA services, please call 503-378-3272 or toll-free within Oregon, 800-922-2689.