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RegSenseHeat and Cold ExposureSafety & HealthGeneral Industry SafetyBest ResultsFAQEnglishHeat StressFocus AreaUSA
How should employers monitor employees during high-heat?
During periods of high heat, it is crucial that employees be monitored for early signs and symptoms of heat illness to help ensure that sick employees receive treatment immediately and progression to serious illness is arrested. If an employee suffers syncope (fainting), disorientation, loss of consciousness, or other symptoms of heat illness while working unobserved, initial medical treatment may be delayed, serious or fatal injury.
Because each work site is unique, the new provisions give employers options and flexibility in observing and monitoring employees. When employees work in small groups of no more than 20 workers, direct observation by a supervisor or designee may be sufficient. When there are too many employees to allow direct observation, the employer may use the buddy system and pair up employees. With the buddy system, the employer must train the employees to stay in contact, observe each other throughout the day, and immediately report any signs or symptoms of heat illness. For employees who are required to work alone, the employer may communicate with the employee by radio or cell phone, provided there is adequate coverage. The employee must be contacted regularly and as frequently as practicable throughout the day, since an employee in distress may not be able to summon help on his or her own.
Employers may use different methods to monitor for heat illness. Whatever method is used, the employer must be able to ascertain the condition of employees at regular intervals and provide emergency services when an employee reports symptoms of heat illness or is unable to respond.
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['Heat and Cold Exposure']
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