June 16, 2015
In this issue:
Q: My employees occasionally work along public highways and want to wear T-shirts this summer when the weather is hot. Do blue T-shirts with green retroreflective stripes meet Oregon OSHA's requirements for high-visibility apparel?
Oregon's first work-zone fatality this year involving a worker happened June 2 on Oregon 22 west of Interstate 5 near Salem; a car drove into a work zone in the eastbound lanes of the highway, striking the worker and construction equipment.
On any given day, there are more than 500 active work zones in Oregon – and there are more than 500 work-zone-related crashes each year.
July and August are the hottest months across Oregon. They are also the months when outdoor workers are most at risk for heat illness. But heat illness can be a serious threat any time workers are not prepared for hot weather - and the risk increases when the weather is hot and humid. Sweating, which helps keep the core body temperature constant, becomes increasingly ineffective as humidity rises. The combination of heat and humidity can be lethal, even when the outdoor temperature does not seem extreme.
What is the No. 1 source of compensable disabling work-related injuries in Oregon?
Answer: The worker. Broad descriptions of workplace injuries often focus on the event, or the manner in which the injury or illness was produced. Being struck by an object and falls are examples, and they are what people usually think of as "accidents." But, for an event to happen, it must have a source - something that is responsible for the injury. Some sources, such as physical objects are relatively easy to identify - when a worker is struck by a vehicle, for example. That is not the case when a worker is the "source" of an injury. Physical, mental, or emotional conditions can be injury sources, as well as bodily motion that results in fatigue and discomfort.
The top 5 sources of workplace injuries
Lockout/Tagout: Oregon OSHA's guide to controlling hazardous energy
The ABCs of construction site safety
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Reprinting, excerpting, or plagiarizing any part of this publication is fine with us!
But remember: the information in this newsletter is intended to highlight safe work practices, but it does not replace Oregon OSHA workplace safety and health rules.
For information about Oregon OSHA services and answers to technical questions, call (503) 378-3272 or toll-free within Oregon, (800) 922-2689.