On July 5th, 2008, a workplace rule designed to protect workers from outdoor heat exposure took effect in Washington State. This rule was passed on June 4 after six public hearings were conducted on heat stress and its causes. The hearings confirmed what officials already knew: working outside in hot weather is a health hazard. The three requirements for employers with employees who work outside are to:
· Train employees and supervisors to recognize heat-related illness and what to do if someone has symptoms.
· On days when temperatures require preventive measures, increase the volume of water available to employees.
· Have the ability to appropriately respond to any employee with symptoms of illness.
It's now 3 years later...would a handheld WBGT Meter be a helpful tool?...
The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT Handheld meter) is a tool perfectly suited to helping Washington State employers comply with this new law. This hand-held tool is used to estimate the effect of temperature, humidity, and solar radiation on humans and determine appropriate exposure levels to high temperatures. A WBGT index is commonly used as a guide for environmental heat stress to prevent heat stroke during physical exercise or while at work. Based on the index shown, employers can estimate the probability that a heat-related illness with occur and provide the appropriate amount of water available for the current weather conditions. See a video demonstrating the use of the WBGT103 below.
For more information on the new Washington State law, go to: http://www.lni.wa.gov/safety/topics/atoz/heatstress/default.asp