OSHA Warning on Heat Related Illnesses

Thousands become sick every year and many die due to heat-related illnesses.  With temperatures rising, prepare your employees for working outdoors in excessive heat.

They must know the signs of heat-related illness—

  • Heat Stroke is the most serious and requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms include: confusion, fainting, seizures, and hot, dry skin. CALL 911 at any sign of heat stroke.
  • Heat Exhaustion symptoms include: headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, thirst and heavy sweating. Heat fatigue, and heat rash are less serious, but are still signs of over exposure.

They also must know how to handle heat-related illness. If you can,

  • move the person to a shaded area,
  • loosen his/her clothing
  • give him/her water (a little at a time)
  • cool him/her down with ice packs or cool water.

But the best way to beat the heat is through preventative measures that will help avoid these issues. Tell your employees to follow theseprocedures:

  • Hydrate every 15 minutes, even if you’re not thirsty.
  • Rest in the shade to cool down.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
  • Know the symptoms and what to do in an emergency.
  • Keep an eye on fellow workers.
  • Acclimate – be sure to get used to the heat and build up tolerance.  Many people who die from heat were either new or returning from a break.  If a worker has not worked in hot weather for a week or more, their body needs time to adjust.

How to Work Safely with Silica

Silica, often referred to as quartz, is found in many materials common on construction sites, including soil, sand, concrete, masonry, rock, granite, and landscaping materials. The dust created by cutting, grinding, drilling or otherwise disturbing these materials can contain crystalline silica particles which create a potential health hazard. Continue reading “How to Work Safely with Silica”

Your Responsibilities Under the Building Codes

The Banker and Tradesman had a timely opinion piece from the law firm Bowditch and Dewey which laid out a recent Massachusetts Appeals Court decision. Downey v. Chutehall Construction Co., Ltd. was a case in which a roofing contractor was hired to install a new rubber membrane over the existing roof.  Several years after the work was completed, it was discovered that there were four layers of roofing materials even though the code only allows two layers on a building. Continue reading “Your Responsibilities Under the Building Codes”

NERCA Goes to Washington

Recently, John Ferrante, NERCA’s Director of Government and Industry Affairs was in Washington DC for a legislative conference.  Trips such as this are part of the value delivered by NERCA and our affiliated trade associations because it allows us to relate our needs to lawmakers and to provide a connection between our members and the people who represent them in government.   Continue reading “NERCA Goes to Washington”