Preventing Heat Illness on the Job: Resources for Nevada Employers
The Nevada Safety Consultation and Training Section offers free resources to protect employees and help employers follow guidelines during hot summer months and year-round.
LAS VEGAS, May 23, 2023 (Newswire.com) - As Memorial Day approaches, marking the unofficial start of summer, the Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS) of the State of Nevada's Division of Industrial Relations is offering free resources for employers to protect employees from heat-related illnesses.
Across Nevada, 135 heat stress complaints were filed by employees in 2020 and that number rose to 239 in 2022. Anyone can be affected by harmful heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn and heat rash.
Employers can prevent heat-related illnesses on the worksite and SCATS offers free training courses and worksite heat testing to protect employees from heat exposure year-round. Upcoming heat safety courses are available online Tuesday, May 30, and Friday, June 30. Courses teach participants how to recognize heat illness symptoms, implement prevention best practices and more.
SCATS offers the following information to keep Nevada workers safe during the upcoming summer months and year-round:
Know the signs of heat-related illnesses, as directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Heat stroke: Symptoms may include high body temperature (103 degrees or hotter), a fast and strong pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, loss of consciousness and hot, red, dry or damp skin. If symptoms appear, call 911 immediately. Move the person to a cooler place and apply cool cloths to their skin while you wait for medical professionals to arrive.
Heat exhaustion: Symptoms may include heavy sweating, a fast and weak pulse, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, fatigue, dizziness, headache, loss of consciousness and cold/pale and clammy skin. If symptoms appear, move the person to a cool place and give them water to sip until symptoms lessen. Call 911 if symptoms worsen or last longer than one hour.
- Heat cramps, heat rash, sunburn: Symptoms of less severe heat-related illnesses may include heavy sweating, muscle pain or cramps, painful and red skin, and small clusters of red blisters on the skin.
- Heat stroke: Symptoms may include high body temperature (103 degrees or hotter), a fast and strong pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, loss of consciousness and hot, red, dry or damp skin. If symptoms appear, call 911 immediately. Move the person to a cooler place and apply cool cloths to their skin while you wait for medical professionals to arrive.
Prevent heat illness on the worksite by providing water, rest and shade:
Water: Workers should be encouraged to drink at least one cup (8 ounces) of water or electrolyte beverages every 20 minutes while working in the heat — they shouldn't wait to hydrate until they feel thirsty.
Rest: The length and frequency of rest breaks on the worksite should increase as temperatures rise. For workers new to the worksite, it's important to schedule more breaks to allow them to adjust to the environment and conditions.
- Shade: Workers should have a cool, shaded area on the worksite where they can take their breaks.
- Water: Workers should be encouraged to drink at least one cup (8 ounces) of water or electrolyte beverages every 20 minutes while working in the heat — they shouldn't wait to hydrate until they feel thirsty.
"It's required that employers train employees on the hazards associated with their job," Todd Schultz, Chief Administrative Officer for SCATS, said. "They must be trained on how to recognize the signs of heat-related illness. This training is vital in protecting everyone and ensuring they go home safely at the end of each work day."
Hazardous heat exposure can occur at indoor or outdoor worksites, and during any season. Business owners, managers, supervisors and employees can contact SCATS year-round for safety consultations or training for their workplace at 4safenv.state.nv.us or by calling 877-472-3368.
About Nevada SCATS
The Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS), part of Nevada's Division of Industrial Relations, provides free and confidential consultation and safety services to assist businesses in Nevada to be in compliance with OSHA standards. SCATS helps Nevada businesses keep their employees safe and offers on-site consultation services designed to help employers recognize and control potential safety and health hazards at their workplaces, improve their safety and health programs, and assist in training employees. SCATS also offers Workplace Safety and Health Training classes in Northern and Southern Nevada. Bilingual services are also available. Visit 4safenv.state.nv.us.
The Nevada On-Site Consultation program (SCATS), at the time of initial publication of this document (5/2023), is funded by a cooperative agreement for $1,011,673 federal funds, which constitutes 27.1% percent of the program budget. Zero percent (0%), or $0.00 of the program budget, is financed through non-governmental sources.
Source: Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS) of the State of Nevada's Division of Industrial Relations