At the start of summer the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reinforced the need for businesses and establishments – including hotels – to take extra measures to prevent heat stroke and other related illnesses among employees. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2014 alone 2,630 workers suffered from heat illness and 18 individuals actually died on the job from heat stroke and related causes. Moreover, it’s not only hotel employees, particularly landscape and maintenance crew, who need to worry about heat-related illnesses, but also guests, who are basking in the sun poolside, using a sunbed, or enjoying the establishment’s sauna or steam room facilities.
Under OSHA, employers have a duty to protect workers from recognized serious hazards in the workplace, including heat-related risks. How do heat illnesses occur? The body normally cools itself by sweating; however, during hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating alone is simply not enough. Your body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if precautions are not taken.