Heat Safety – Training and Monitoring Matters

heat wave safetyHeat safety issues are challenges in many American agricultural, industrial and construction workplaces. Safety professionals, managers and business owners should be aware of potential heat hazards in their workplaces and keep workers safe. An effective workplace heat safety program should include a strong focus upon employee training and monitoring of conditions to identify and address potential hazards.

OSHA makes active efforts to target heat safety in the workplace through education, inspection and enforcement, including a program aimed at educating and protecting outdoor workers.

Location isn’t always a good way to guess where heat safety is a challenge. While this recent OSHA citation for not having a heat safety program in Houston, Texas might not seem surprising, OSHA has also levied recent fines against companies beyond the Sun Belt states, including a moving company and automotive manufacturing plant in Nebraska and a construction company in Pennsylvania. In these cases, penalties sought by OSHA ranged from $3,700 to $13,800 – all of which could have been avoided with an effective heat safety program.


There are four kinds of heat illness: heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. All result from the human body reacting to heat. Increased physical activity increases the potential for heat illness, with heat stroke being the most critical. It is crucial to know the signs of heat illness and how to respond – as well as respond quickly.

First Aid courses offered by the American Red Cross teach how to recognize signs of heat illness as well as how to respond. Over a quarter of Filters Fast employees have certifications in both CPR and First Aid, giving them the knowledge to keep safe, watch out for others – both on and off the job, and respond to signs of heat-related emergencies. These courses are not difficult, take just a few hours and are relatively affordable, so we strongly recommend signing up for one.

You can sign up for a class with your local Red Cross chapter: http://www.redcross.org/find-your-local-chapter


As OSHA has no specific standards regarding heat safety, employers are obligated to follow the OSHA “General Duty Clause”, which obligates employers to act to protect workers from all known hazards, which includes heat exposure: 

“Each employer … shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees”

Even without specific OSHA regulations regarding heat safety, employers are always responsible for identifying and responding to heat hazards. This includes empowering employees to act, as well as monitoring working conditions to identify potential heat hazards.

Heat should take into account the role played by humidity, not just air temperature alone. The Heat Index is a more accurate measure of the level of stress placed upon the body than just air temperatures and should be watched closely. OHSA provides a very useful guide on heat and its impact upon workers.

Temperature And Humidity Logger

Supco SL400TH Temperature And Humidity Logger

To help monitor conditions and better plan work activities in workplaces, as well as home and anywhere else exposure to heat might be a concern, Filters Fast sells a number of quality devices which track and record heat and humidity. We even use them to monitor heat and humidity our own workplaces, so you know we believe in their reliability.

See our line of heat and humidity monitoring equipment.

Filters Fast has an in-house Safety Manager with over 15 years’ experience working in construction and industrial environments in southern U.S. states, including plenty of experience with heat safety issues. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments and he will be glad to respond.

Drop the Bottle! Drink Filtered Water Instead.

iStock_000019689327_Medium - CopyLounging around the neighborhood pool this summer, I am aware of how many people still choose to buy bottled water.  True, it is convenient to toss a few in a cooler when heading out to the pool or beach, but there are so many better alternatives these days, so it still surprises me to see how many people still do it!  The latest published statistics state that over half of all Americans drink bottled water!

I thought this might be a good time to remind myself as well as others why we need to “drop the bottle” and filter water at our homes instead:

Reason #1:  Negative environmental impact.  The production and transportation of bottled water wastes our precious fossil fuels. It takes a plastic water bottle 1,000 years to bio-degrade. Knowing that 80% of water bottles end up in our landfill; that’s a pretty scary statistic! When not recycled, bottles produce mass amounts of litter, not only in landfills, but in our lakes, rivers and oceans.

Reason #2: Cost.  The average American spends over $100 per year on bottled water (think $400 per 4 person family on WATER).

These are just my two top reasons to drop the bottle.  There are obviously many more.  You can find detailed reports and statistics at The Water Project. Or read 15 Outrageous Facts about Bottled Water.

Additionally, if you buy bottled water because you feel that it is safer and tastes better than general tap water, there are many alternative options available to you.  Visit FiltersFast.com to find a full range of water filtration devices including whole house filtration systems, faucet mount filters, refrigerator filters, filtered water pitchers and water bottles (to throw in the cooler for the pool or beach).  These days, home water filtration options are endless.

Aside from the better taste and smell that filtered water provides, there are other benefits to filtering water as well:

  • More cost effective than buying bottled water
  • Eliminates the environmental impact of bottled water
  • Filtering removes unwanted, harmful contaminates from drinking water

This summer, when you head out to the pool, or pack a cooler for the beach, or venture out for a nice hike or picnic, forget the disposable water bottles!  Use instead a reusable filtered water bottle or fill some other reusable container with clean filtered water from your refrigerator or other home filtration device.

Check FiltersFast.com for available options.

Remember to Drink Your Filtered Water – Is It Safe To Drink Tap Water

tap-water-in-a-glassWe learned early in life that all living things need water to survive.  As a matter of fact, a person can only live for about 3 – 4 days without water, while surviving up to a month without food!  In honor of World Water day, March 22, 2014, I thought I would take a moment to remind us all why good old H2O is so important to the human body.

I find myself constantly advising friends and family members to drink more filtered water.  When we neglect to do so, we can experience unpleasant symptoms such as dizziness, headache, irritability, tiredness, constipation and a general sense of discomfort. It is amazing how our bodies respond when we take in the proper amount of water. The Institute of Medicine suggests 9 – 12 cups of total beverages each day. This can literally make you feel like a new person!  In addition to relieving the above referenced disagreeable side effects of not drinking enough, water also helps the body with the following functions:

  • Regulates body temperature
  • Aids in digestion by ridding the body of waste
  • Lubricates and acts as a cushion for joints, spinal cord and other sensitive tissues

These are just a few medical reasons why our body demands drinking water.  There are other benefits as well, such as promoting weight loss, improves complexion, increases energy and can flush out harmful toxins to boost your immune system!

In an effort to make sure that you are consuming the highest quality water available, consider using a water testing kit to determine if contaminates are present in your tap water.  If they are, don’t work.  FiltersFast.com offers a wide variety of water filtration applications from refrigerator filters to filtered pitchers and reusable bottles, as well as whole house filtration systems and faucet mount products.

So do the environment a favor: don’t drink bottled water.  By now we all know that trash from empty water bottles is filling up the landfills and producing tons of litter each year, not to mention the rising cost and simple inconvenience of lugging around heavy cases of water.

This year on World Water Day, take a moment to reflect on how something as pure and simple as can have such a dynamic impact on not only our bodies and lives, but that of the entire world.  Clean water is a luxury and should not be taken for granted, as many people do not have the resources or capacity to produce it.  If you do, count it a blessing and think about how you might get involved to help those who don’t.  To learn more, please visit http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday.