Labor Department Urges Employers to Address Hazards That Hit Their Peak in Summer Months

Risks of heat exposure, falls, electrical safety and other hazards tend to be highest during July, August and September.

As the summer months heat up, the Department of Labor is urging employers and their workers to address workplace hazards that peak during the season.

Those hazards include heat exposure, falls, trenching and excavation, struck-by objects and vehicles, electrical safety, workplace violence and risks in agricultural operations, according to a department release. All of these risks have been at their highest in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska during the months of July, August and September in the past three years, the department said.

“OSHA encourages employers to develop safety and health programs, hold safety stand-downs and toolbox talks, and conduct daily safety meetings to discuss common hazards," Kimberly Stille, the OSHA regional administrator in Kansas City, Missouri, said.

The department offers compliance assistance for small- and medium-sized businesses for free, and has recommended practices for companies looking to create safety and health programs.

"Employers are required to provide workplace safety training to improve employees' ability to identify, evaluate, and effectively prevent safety and health hazards on the job,” Stille said.

The reminder comes as lawmakers push a bill instructing OSHA to create heat exposure protections for workers, including guaranteeing the right to paid breaks in cool areas and access to water.

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