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Safety Tips that Protect Outdoor Workers from Heat Stress and Illness

Safety Tips that Protect Outdoor Workers from Heat Stress and IllnessThe physical demands of outdoor work and extreme heat is a dangerous combination.  Landscape, tree service, construction, and other  outdoor workers spend hours under the hot sun, making them more vulnerable to heat stroke, exhaustion, dehydration, and other serious health problems.  This is not only bad for their health, but bad for your business too.

Heat stress and related illnesses have been one of the many occupational hazards OSHA aims to prevent.  In May 2015, for example, the State of California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) changed employer requirements to better protect agricultural and other outdoor workers from illnesses related to heat exposure.  This includes stricter regulations.

To avoid violating OSHA regulations and control hazards, enforcing safety procedures is your best bet.  Below we list some tips for protecting your workers from these heat-related health problems.

Safety Tips for Working in Hot Temperatures

  • Dress cool.  Wear light-colored, breathable clothing and a hat.
  • Stay hydrated. Thirsty or not, drink water every 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Take breaks. Rest in the shade when possible.  Eat during lunch or other breaks to re-fuel.
  • Watch your workers’ backs. Keep an eye out for signs of exhaustion and other heat illnesses.
  • Have a response plan. Know which steps to take if a worker shows symptoms of heat illness.

Each employee should be trained in safety procedures, including recognizing and controlling hazards, and steps to take in an emergency.  By creating a safe working environment, your workers are better protected from harm and the risk of a costly claim is significantly reduced.  If a health problem does occur even after following safety procedures, an insurance plan with workers’ comp will cover medical costs, foregone wages, and other related costs to take the heat off of your business financially.

NIP Group’s insurance programs include comprehensive workers’ comp to back you up financially so your employees can focus on restoring their health and you can continue growing your business.  Click the links below for more information or contact your broker.

LandPro Insurance >

For landscape and lawn care professionals

TreePro Insurance >

For arborists and tree service professionals

GrowPro Insurance >

For greenhouse and plant grower professionals

Resources

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/

https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/documents/Heat-Illness-Prevention-Regulation-Amendments.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/wp-solutions/2013-143/pdfs/2013-143.pdf

http://landscapeonline.com/research/article/17720

Safety Guidelines for Reducing Hazards in the Electrical Trade

Safety Guidelines for Reducing Hazards in the Electrical Trade

Fatality reports for electricians are devastating, often listing slips and falls or electrocution as the cause of death. However, if the following safety precautions were in place and abided by, many of these deaths could have been prevented. Therefore the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to follow certain safety standards or pay a penalty. To protect your workers from devastating injuries and avoid significant financial loss, we’ve put together general safety measures that reduce hazards in the electrical trade.

1. Recognize Hazards

Before starting a job, it’s important to first recognize hazards within your work environment. This helps determine any areas that could result in injury or death. Hazards to look for include but are not limited to:

  • Inadequate wiring and insulation of wiring
  • Exposed or energized electrical parts, including overhead power lines
  • Improper grounding of equipment and circuitry
  • Overloaded electrical systems
  • Improper or defective equipment and ladders
  • Wet conditions

2. Evaluate Hazards

Once recognized, it’s important that each hazard is evaluated to identify how they can be controlled. Never ignore a sign of risk. An assessment of each hazard includes:

  • The seriousness of the hazard
  • Action needed to be taken to eliminate risk

3. Control Hazards

After hazards have been recognized and evaluated, you can employ safety procedures that minimize these risks and prevent injury or death. These should be followed and enforced at all times. Safety procedures should include but are not limited to:

  • Keeping a first aid kit at each jobsite
  • Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Isolating and insulating live wires and electrical parts correctly
  • De-energizing electrical devices before repair or service
  • Using “lockout / tagout” procedures
  • Grounding electrical devices and using GFCIs
  • Using overcurrent protection devices
  • Maintaining working condition and proper use of equipment

To create a safer environment, each worker needs to be trained in recognizing hazards, using equipment properly, and following the required safety procedures. If an injury or death does occur even with the proper safety procedures in place, having the right insurance can protect your business from serious financial loss. Workers’ comp insurance coverage, in particular, adds an extra layer of protection in case of an accident.

Looking to better protect your workers and your electrical trade business from significant financial loss? Check out NIP Group’s PowerPro insurance program that includes comprehensive workers’ compensation.

Info from:
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2009-113/pdfs/2009-113.pdf
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/dosh_publications/Electrical_Safety.pdf
http://www.ehso.com/css/oshaviolations.php