New Reports Says Illness, Injury, Fatalities, and $100 Billion is the Cost of Heat Stress Inaction by Employers Each Year
On October 5, Public Citizen published a new report stating that employers’ failure to mitigate the effects of heat stress on workers causes preventable heat-related illness, injury, fatalities, and costs the U.S. Economy $100 billion each year.
Additional and shocking key findings from the report include:
- The physical and mental capacity of workers to function drops significantly as heat and humidity increase;
- Productivity of workers declines approximately 2.6 percent per degree Celsius above a Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) of 24°C (75.2°F);
- The lowest-paid 20 percent of workers suffer five times as many heat-related injuries as the highest-paid 20 percent; and
- Medical costs increase 41.6 percent per degree Celsius when the temperature exceeds 33°C (91.4°F).
Introduced by Rep. Judy Chu in 2021, H.R. 2193, or the Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act, requires the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to establish an enforceable federal standard to protect workers. But this bill has a long way to go as it has only been introduced and has yet to pass through the House of Representatives. And, while outdoor worksites may feel like they have time to prepare as winter approaches, the heat continues to impact workers inside glass plants, steel plants, and other worksites with hot hazards.
So, what can employers do in the meantime to protect their workers and their bottom line?
Safety experts from Magid Glove & Safety, a national PPE manufacturer and distributor, and founding member of the Heat Safety and Performance Coalition (HSPC), offer a Heat Safety Toolkit that consists of six free resources.
These resources include:
- The Heat Safety Guidebook;
- 8 Steps to a Complete Heat Safety Program webinar;
- A heat safety training class;
- Magid® Cool Powered by Mission® Cooling product sample;
- Additional information and discounts for products to help beat the heat; and
- Access to Magid’s Heat Illness Prevention HQ with tips, content, and resources.
For more information, visit https://www.magidglove.com.