NAPA News & Events

The Heat Goes On

NAPA PROVIDES GUIDANCE FOR COMPANIES TO ADOPT HEAT ILLNESS PREVENTION PLANS

BY TY JOHNSON

Just as heat domes continue to make headlines each summer, OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention (HIP) campaign continues to educate employers and workers on heat hazards and provides resources to keep workers safe. NAPA worked with partners and stakeholders to develop an industry HIP program to help protect road construction crews from heat exhaustion.

Duval Asphalt Environment, Health & Safety Director Coral Todd guided NAPA Midyear Meeting attendees through the guidance during a microsession that also included a presentation on confined spaces by Mike Lawler of Safewit, Inc.

“The key is to prevent and plan,” Todd said, adding that in areas where heat waves can last weeks, like the Jacksonville, Florida, region, staying current on weather forecasts is a must. “We have to be really creative. We have to be cognizant of weather and include when weather just brings us that harsh heat wave. And just like hurricanes – we all prepare for hurricanes – the same thing with the heat wave and patterns of weather.”

NAPA Vice President for Environment, Health & Safety Howard Marks said the HIP guidance also includes shade alternatives, which are an important consideration for roadside workers.

Todd added that this year she began to focus on the role of supervisors in heat illness prevention.

the osha niosh heat safety

“The most important thing is to educate and train our workers,” she said. “Because it’s one thing that the employee knows their rights. And their employer knows that they’re not feeling well, but guess what? They’re going to do what that foreman says. So this education has to be embraced by all.”

Todd then led the group through the highlights of the guidance, which includes prevention and control measures, like a program checklist for daily planning around hot weather. The templates are easy to customize for different applications and hyperlinks throughout allowing access to many regularly updated external sources.

Todd said supervisors at Duval have all downloaded the free OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool App on their phones to keep them up to date on the heat index at work sites. The data can also be leveraged to predict things like water consumption.

“You could predict the time of day the max heat index will hit,” Todd said. “You can say at 3 o’clock it’s going to be like this, so we need to make sure that we have everything. You also have a space for crew size, the shift length and you can take that and then water requirements. It will immediately calculate how much water you should have in your service truck or available for your guys.”

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