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Q
I’m a New York City construction worker. Is OSHA’s Heat Safety Campaign relevant to me?
A

Yes. The 2014 OSHA Heat Safety Campaign is not only relevant to you, but it is also very important for you. This is the fourth year that OSHA has held a heat safety campaign, and the reasons for the initiative remain as important in 2014 as they did in 2011.

Preventing Heat-Related Injuries and Deaths for NYC Construction Workers

The heat index in New York City, particularly during July and August, can be dangerous. Construction workers in Bayside, Midtown, or any other part of the city need to be aware of the risks and what they can do to prevent serious injury or death. To that end, OSHA recommends:

  • Drinking water.
  • Resting.
  • Getting into the shade.
  • Acclimatization, or allowing the body to build tolerance to the heat.
  • Use of the agency’s mobile app to track heat index.

In 2012, OSHA reports that there were 31 deaths and more than 4100 injuries due to heat-related accidents.

Your Employer Can’t Control the Weather But Can Control Heat-Related Injuries

If your employer were in charge of New York City weather then every day might be in the high 60s and partly cloudy. However, we all know that isn’t possible. Instead, it is your employer’s responsibility to provide a workplace that doesn’t put you at risk of a heat-related injury. For example, your employer might provide you with adequate water and rest periods, allow you to work different hours to avoid the hottest times of the day, train you on acclimatization, and even cancel work if conditions are unsafe.

If you do suffer a heat-related injury this summer, please learn more about your rights by reading a free copy of our brochure, “Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone,” and please check our website often for valuable information for New York construction workers.