The past few summers have shown that heat illness from high temperatures is one of the most serious challenges to the safety and health of workers throughout the nation. Since 2010, Arkansas has experienced at least two heat-related deaths per year and last year three heat-related fatalities in the state were reported to OSHA. Workers die from heat related illnesses every summer and every death is preventable. Every year, OSHA tries to get its heat-illness prevention message out before the start of higher temperatures to prevent these fatalities.
Carlos Reynolds, Area Director of OSHA's Little Rock Area Office, has been able to use local television and radio interviews to reach millions of workers exposed to heat in indoor and outdoor worksites. During the interviews, he highlights OSHA's Water/Rest/Shade message to protect from the hazards of working during the summer months, including heat stress, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
On May 29, 2013, Mr. Reynolds appeared on the KATV, Channel 7, noon news show. On June 18, 2013, Mr. Reynolds appeared on the KTHV, Channel 11, Morning News. On July 3, 2013, he was interviewed on the Clear Channel radio broadcast, 94.9 TOM with Tom Wood which was broadcast starting July 4, 2013, and rebroadcast each day through July 7, 2013. Both television shows have a viewer base of between 25,000 and 30,000 households and the Clear Channel radio broadcast reaches a weekly audience of 310,000 listeners with the expectation that 75-80 percent of that number will hear the interview broadcasts.
During his interviews, Mr. Reynolds told viewers and listeners how to obtain OSHA publications, including the informational booklet entitled "A Guide for Employers to Carry Out Heat Safety Training for Workers," and posters and QuickCards that detail how to avoid heat stress. He emphasized that by providing water, frequent breaks, and shade, an employer can take the appropriate steps to prevent heat stress illnesses. He also mentioned how OSHA is now using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and the free OSHA Heat Tool App in an effort to provide more avenues for heightened public awareness of the hazards posed by working in high temperatures.
During the radio broadcast, Mr. Reynolds also discussed OSHA's ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign and the three major points of the campaign, Plan, Provide and Train. Since the broadcast was taped the day before the 4th of July, Mr. Reynolds also reviewed tips on how to safely handle fireworks.
Meanwhile, during four hot weeks in July, 18,661 people downloaded OSHA's heat safety app — bringing the total number of downloads to 103,530 since the app's launch two years ago. For more information and resources, visit National Safety Compliance