Will the extreme heat that has plagued the nation in June and July continue on through August? If so, there's a tool that might provide some relief -- and safety -- for outdoor workers.
OSHA has a Heat Safety App that 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. It combines heat index data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with the user's location to determine necessary protective measures.
Once a worker has determined the risk level, they can then access information about protective measures that should be taken for that risk level to prevent heat-related illness. These include 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 free app is available for iPhones, Androids, and Blackberrys in English and Spanish. Access other tools and information in OSHA's Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers.
USA Today has a story on how businesses are adapting to extreme heat and drought. It includes mention of some new "personal cooling system" technologies such as CoolWare and Polar Products, which offers some "Body Cooling Systems." We can't personally vouch for any of these because we haven't tried them - but there are still several weeks to summer yet!