Heat Index Could Surpass 100 Degrees
Hot temperatures and high humidity will hit the Pittsburgh area Thursday.
The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for noon to 8 p.m. Thursday and is forecasting a heat index of 100 or more degrees.
Hot and humid conditions will return to Allegheny County, as well as the metropolitan Pittsburgh area, the West Virginia panhandle, east-central Ohio and portions of northern West Virginia, the weather service website states.
"A heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected," the website states. "The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible."
An Occupational Safety and Health Administration publication offers this information for protecting workers from heat stress
Exposure to heat can cause illness and death. The most serious heat illness is heat stroke. Other heat illnesses, such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash, should also be avoided.
There are precautions your employer should take any time temperatures are high and the job involves physical work.
Risk Factors for Heat Illness
• High temperature and humidity, direct sun exposure, no breeze or wind
• Low liquid intake • Heavy physical labor • Waterproof clothing • No recent exposure to hot workplaces
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
• Headache, dizziness, or fainting • Weakness and wet skin • Irritability or confusion • Thirst, nausea, or vomiting
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
• May be confused, unable to think clearly, pass out, collapse, or have seizures (fits)
• May stop sweating
To Prevent Heat Illness,Your Employer Should
• Provide training about the hazards leading to heat stress and how to prevent them.
• Provide a lot of cool water to workers close to the work area. At least one pint of water per hour is needed.
• Schedule frequent rest periods with water breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas.
• Routinely check workers who are at risk of heat stress due to protective clothing and high temperature.
• Consider protective clothing that provides cooling.
How You Can Protect Yourself and Others
• Know signs/symptoms of heat illnesses; monitor yourself; use a buddy system.
• Block out direct sun and other heat sources.
• Drink plenty of fluids. Drink often and BEFORE you are thirsty. Drink water every 15 minutes.
• Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.
What to Do When a Worker is Ill from the Heat
• Call a supervisor for help. If the supervisor is not available, call 911.
• Have someone stay with the worker until help arrives.
• Move the worker to a cooler/shaded area.
• Remove outer clothing.
• Fan and mist the worker with water; apply ice (ice bags or ice towels).
• Provide cool drinking water, if able to drink.
IF THE WORKER IS NOT ALERT or seems confused, this may be a heat stroke. CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY and apply ice as soon as possible.
If you have any questions or concerns, call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).