SPOKANE, Washington – Many of us are fortunate enough to work indoors, but not everyone has the luxury. If the weather heats up again, a potentially dangerous situation can arise.
Many construction workers have left for today; That’s because working in this type of heat can be fatal.
But now there are new rules in Washington to keep workers safe.
You could say that the work on the construction site is not for the faint of heart.
“Construction has no downtime,” said Nate Long, Baker Construction director of safety. “We work in rain, sunshine, snow, heat.”
We’re not just talking about any kind of heat, because this year the temperatures are already in the three-digit range for several days.
“This is not new to us,” said Long. “We worked in the heat every summer.”
For Long, worker safety means they stay hydrated and healthy when the going gets hot.
âWe are a family and we take care of each other. We are proud of that, âsaid Long.
Soon all employers will have to do the same.
The Ministry of Labor and Industryâs new regulations aim to protect workers who have been exposed to heat for long periods of time. Starting Tuesday, when temperatures hit 100 degrees or more, employers will have to provide shade for workers to cool off.
Workers are given paid rest breaks of at least ten minutes every two hours.
“We have the job trailer here where you can rest,” Long explained. “Most people like to have their lunch in the air conditioning of their car.”
Employers must also provide cold water to workers when temperatures are above 89 degrees.
“We are taking the necessary precautions to make sure our boys stay hydrated,” Long said.
Because even in these summer months, no matter how hot it gets …
“It does not stop. Construction continues, âsaid Long.
These new rules come into effect on July 13th and apply to all industries where workers spend extended periods of time outdoors.
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