Heat stress is a problem for many workers. Agencies and organizations are working to educate workers and employers on the dangers of heat stress, as 43 workers died from exposure to heat in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A recently-published poll from the J.J. Keller Center for Market Insights looks more closely at this topic. The pulse poll asked questions about what factors contribute to heat stress and how companies are reducing it.
According to a news release about the poll, factors for heat stress in indoor and outdoor settings included heat from machinery and equipment (63 percent) and PPE (46 percent).
The actions respondents took to help reduce the potential for heat stress were to give employees water (93 percent), provide training on warning signs (90 percent) and provide breaks from the heat (86 percent). Additional actions include using “fans, ventilation, or reflective shields; cooling products; and providing shade.”
Training to address heat stress was provided at 80 percent of companies, but less than that have a plan for emergencies. According to the news release, only 56 percent have an emergency response plan.
“It’s clear that employers recognize heat stress as a serious issue and are taking action to address it,” said J. J. Keller Customer & Market Insights Manager Wendy Blezek Fleming in the news release. “Learning what challenges other companies face and the mitigation measures they employ can give safety managers and EHS professionals insight into improving their heat prevention programs.”
The survey polled 10,829 companies in multiple industries. Those who responded were primarily from the manufacturing (50 percent) and construction (39) industries, with many other industries, also represented.