News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 4, 2013

Wonder the heat index? There’s an app for that


The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — There is now a tool to help employers and employees understand heat situations and risk levels.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers a smartphone app that allows outdoor workers to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and displays a risk level based on the heat index.

The app is free and available for both Android devices and iPhones, in English or Spanish. The app can be downloaded at www.osha.gov/SLTC/heat

illness/heat_index/heat_app.

html, or through iTunes or Google Play.

Every year, thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and in 2011, 61 workers died nationally from heat-related injuries and illnesses. In the same year, Indiana workers experienced 100 cases of non-fatal injuries and illnesses related to heat exposure.

These illnesses and deaths are 100 percent preventable.

The tool also provides reminders about measures that should be taken at each risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness, spring through fall seasons. These reminders include:

• drinking enough fluids

• scheduling rest breaks

• planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency

• adjusting work operations

• gradually building up the workload for new workers

• training on heat illness signs and symptoms

• monitoring each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness

Employers and employees are strongly encouraged to learn about heat-related illnesses and take necessary precautions for prevention.