In Heat Like This, Working Outdoors is Dangerous

Jun 22, 2012

When temperatures soar like they have this week in Utah, working outdoors can be dangerous. A national campaign is underway to help prevent heat-related deaths and illness.

Twenty-three girls from Southern Utah's Hurricane High School cheer squad spend a lot of time outside in the heat. Shanna Baker is their assistant coach, responsible for making sure the girls stay hydrated and healthy.

"In fact our school is under construction, so we're outside full time right now on the football field."

Educating employers about heat related illness and death while promoting prevention is the purpose behind a national campaign announced this week by the U.S. Labor Department and the National Weather Service.

Dr. David Michaels is Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA). He says that this time of year, early summer, poses an increased risk for those working outside:

"They haven't acclimatized to the risk. Eventually they build up a tolerance to it. If you can reschedule work that is to be done outside in the middle of the day, we want you to do that. Otherwise, remember these three words: water, rest, and shade."

The Labor Department's reason for pushing the 2012 Heat Illness Prevention Campaign is to help keep the thousands of people who typically fall ill while working outdoors during the heat of summer from missing work.

Click for more information and to download the Department of Labor's Heat Safety Tool App