Exposure to excessive noise in the workplace can have profound effects, both immediate and long-term. Some consequences are obvious, while others may surprise those that have not studied the topic.
Some industries, such as mining and construction, are subject to regulations published specifically for them. This series presents information, including regulatory controls, that is broadly applicable to manufacturing and service industries.
Safeguarding the health and well-being of employees is among the critical functions of management. In hot workplaces, monitoring environmental conditions and providing adequate protection comprise a significant share of these responsibilities. The details of these efforts are often documented and formalized in a heat illness prevention program.
An effective heat illness prevention program consists of several components, including the measure(s) used for environmental assessment, exposure limits or threshold values, policies defining the response to a limit or threshold being reached, content and schedule of required training for workers and managers, and the processes used to collect and review data and modify the program. Other information may be added, particularly as the program matures. Though it is nominally a prevention program, response procedures, such as the administration of first aid, should also be included; the program should not be assumed to be infallible.
In this installment of the “Thermal Work Environments” series, the components of heat stress hygiene and various control mechanisms are introduced. Combined with the types of information mentioned above, an outline of a heat illness prevention program emerges. This outline can be referenced or customized to create a program meeting the needs of a specific organization or work site.
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