ADOSH reminds outdoor workers of heat safety tips

YUMA, Ariz. – Project safety manager Fernando Sandez’s construction team started working at 3 o’clock in the morning to avoid intense heat during the middle of the day.

“It gets hot out here. Absolutely,” he said.

By at 11 a.m., temperatures were already well above the triple digit mark.

“Workers that have been working in the Southwest for a while – still always there’s a period of re-acclamation to that heat when it starts,” Sandez said.

The Arizona Division of Occupational Safety has kicked off a heat safety campaign, which serves as a reminder for outdoor workers to keep three things in mind.

“Water, rest and shade,” Sandez explained.

ADOSH assistant director Jessie Atencio explains how the crew at this construction site avoids heat related illnesses on a hot summer day.

“You’ll see there’s water in the background, people taking drinks and break areas,” Atencio said. “That’s really what we’re talking about with employers, encouraging them with their staff to have the dialogue, recognize signs and symptoms before they ever become an injury or an illness to the employees, and make sure they’re always talking about it. Never stop.”

He encouraged employers to give regular break periods in shaded areas with plentiful access to water. Atencio said all workers can file a complaint with ADOSH if they feel they are working in unsafe conditions.

“And part of that is saying, ‘hey if you don’t feel comfortable, if you don’t feel safe, you can stop the work activity until you feel better about it, or we discuss what’s going on,” he said.

Atencio recommended everyone check the heat index before working outside. ADOSH offers a heat stress app to measure that number, which you can download onto your smart phone.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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