According to a recent study, Las Vegas has seen an increase of 5.8 degrees in summer temperatures since 1970, which makes it the second fastest-warming city in the U.S. Reno, Nevada ranked first.
In April 2022, Federal OSHA announced the launch of a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to protect millions of workers from heat illness and injuries. Nevada OSHA has adopted the NEP in a modified form to reflect local factors. It went into effect June 15, 2022.
Following Nevada OSHA’s implementation of the NEP, the Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS) of the State of Nevada’s Division of Industrial Relations is offering free courses and heat testing on worksites for employers to help protect employees from heat-related illnesses. The new heat safety course is available online, starting July 29.
SCATS offers the following information to help Nevada’s employers and workforce stay safe:
- Recognize signs of heat illnesses, as directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Heat stroke symptoms may include high body temperature (103 degrees or hotter), a fast and strong pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, loss of consciousness and hot, red, dry or damp skin.
- Heat exhaustion symptoms may include heavy sweating, a fast and weak pulse, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, fatigue, dizziness, headache, loss of consciousness and cold/pale and clammy skin.
- Less severe heat-related illnesses include heat cramps, sunburn and heat rash. Symptoms may include heavy sweating, muscle pain or cramps, painful and red skin, and small clusters of red blisters on the skin.
- Know what to do if heat illness occurs on the job:
- If signs of heat stroke appear, call 911 immediately. Move the person to a cooler place and apply cool cloths to their skin while you wait for medical professionals to arrive. Do not give them anything to drink.
- If signs of heat exhaustion or heat cramps appear, move the person to a cool place and give them water to sip until symptoms lessen. Call 911 if symptoms worsen or last longer than one hour.
- Treat symptoms of sunburn and heat rash topically, as needed.
- Avoid situations that can lead to heat illness by providing water, rest and shade for employees, especially during heat priority days (90 degrees or hotter). Along with other elements such as air conditioning, ventilation and supplying protective clothing, employers can prevent heat illnesses.
“SCATS is here to help employers not only be in compliance with OSHA guidelines and standards to avoid fines, but also to help protect Nevada’s workforce,” said Todd Schultz, chief administrative officer for SCATS. “Safety is everyone’s job and every employee should have the privilege of going home safe and healthy at the end of the workday, no matter the season or temperature.”
SCATS also offers free safety consultations to provide employers with confidential hazard identification, program development, implementation assistance and training. Upon request, consultations can include heat testing on worksites, which can identify areas – both inside and outside – where employees are exposed to high temperatures.
Businesses interested in the free heat safety course can register online or request heat testing as part of a free onsite safety consultation. For more information or for a schedule of the variety of free training courses offered by SCATS, businesses can call 1-877-4SAFENV or visit 4safenv.state.nv.us.