The Occupational Heath and Safety Administration has developed a smartphone app the provides free information and advice to employees who work outdoors.
The app is called “The Heat”, and it uses weather data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and GPS technology to determine the risks factors associated with working outside on a given day. The Heat is available in both English and Spanish on a wide variety of mobile platforms including iPhone, Blackberry and Android.
The Heat app provides the user with the current temperature and humidity, but it also acts as a reference tool if a person begins to show signs of a medical condition.
“The App allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers,” OHSA said in a statement. “Then, with a simple “click,” you can get reminders about the protective measures that should be taken at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness-reminders about drinking enough fluids, scheduling rest breaks, planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency, adjusting work operations, gradually building up the workload for new workers, training on heat illness signs and symptoms, and monitoring each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.
The app allows the user to contact an OSHA representative if they have any questions or concerns, and it also lists first-aid steps in case a medical emergency occurs.
OSHA believes the free app will cut down on work-related injuries, which will in turn decrease the number of workers’ compensation claims.
There were over 100 heat-related deaths in the United States in 2012, and thousands more are hospitalized because of heat-related illnesses. OHSA warns that workers in certain industries are at a higher risk for heat-related illness. Those workers include farmers, roofers, landscapers, construction workers, transportation workers, and painters.
Related source: OSHA