On Sept. 3, OSHA issued High Structural Erectors LLC of Lancaster, Pa., one general duty clause citation for exposing employees to heat stress conditions at its worksite at the Route 84 East Bridge, between Matamoras, Pa., and Port Jervis, N.Y..
OSHA investigators determined that on July 20, an ironworker was hospitalized after being exposed to excessive heat while performing bridge work in direct sunlight for approximately eight hours. That day, there was a peak heat index of 91 degrees Fahrenheit. The company was cited for allowing employees to work in direct sun in high temperatures without instituting heat-related illness prevention procedures and the proposed penalty is $4,900
“In summer temperatures, construction workers face an increased risk of heat-related illness and death. Heat stress can be reduced significantly by establishing a heat illness prevention program for outdoor workers,” said Mark Stelmack, OSHA’s area director in Wilkes-Barre.
OSHA has a free app for mobile devices that enables workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their work sites. The agency also has a web page that provides information and resources on heat illness – including how to prevent it and what to do in an emergency – for workers and employers.