LIUNA members spend much of their time outdoors and can be exposed to a number of environmental hazards, including weather-related illnesses like heat stress and cold stress. Other potential outdoor hazards include diseases carried by mosquitoes and ticks, rashes caused by plants such as poison ivy and environmental threats such as wildfire smoke, lightning and tornadoes.
Impact of Outdoor Hazards
The impact of outdoor hazards often range in severity. For example, the symptoms of heat illness range from minor heat rashes to heat exhaustion and potentially deadly heat stroke. Cold stress puts workers at risk for both minor illnesses like trench foot and more severe illnesses such as frostbite and hypothermia.
Addressing Outdoor Hazards
Fortunately, there are several precautions employers can take to protect workers from environmental hazards. For example, heat illness can be prevented by a combination of three well-known practices: water, rest and shade. Similarly, cold stress can be avoided with precautions such as frequent breaks in warm areas, dressing properly to insulate body heat and task scheduling.
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