Landscaping Company Cited After Worker Dies from Heat Stroke

The employee was initially hospitalized with a body core temperature of 108 degrees.

OSHA announced it has cited Townsend Tree Service Company LLC of Muncie, Ind., after a crewman died from heat stroke. The worker was hospitalized with a core body temperature above 108 degrees, and OSHA determined the employee was working more than nine hours in direct sun with a heat index of 110 degrees.

OSHA issued one serious citation following the incident.

"Heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable when employers help workers acclimate to hot environments, allow frequent water breaks, ample time to rest and provide shade," said Bill McDonald, OSHA's area director in St. Louis. "Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Employers must keep this in mind and plan additional precautions for working in these conditions."

OSHA has recommended that employers train supervisors on the proper response to heat-induced symptoms, as well as require trained supervisors to go into the field and conduct in-person evaluations.

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