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OSHA launches new campaign on heat-related illnesses

With summer fast approaching, OSHA has launched a new national outreach initiative to educate workers and their employers about the hazards of working outdoors in the heat and steps needed to prevent heat-related illnesses.

"If you're working outdoors, you're at risk for heat-related illnesses that can cause serious medical problems and even death," said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. "But heat illness can be prevented. This Labor Department campaign will reach across the country with a very simple message - water, rest and shade."

OSHA noted that each year, "thousands of outdoor workers experience heat illness, which often manifests as heat exhaustion. If not quickly addressed, heat exhaustion can become heat stroke, which killed more than 30 workers last year."

"As we move into the summer months, it is very important for workers and employers to take the steps necessary to stay safe in extreme heat," added OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. "Drinking water often, taking breaks and limiting time in the heat are simple, effective ways to prevent heat illness."

OSHA has developed heat illness educational materials in English and Spanish, along with a curriculum for workplace training. All of the materials can be found online by clicking here.

05/04/2011