The MTA Golf event is still one of the best opportunities to network with industry leaders. Don’t miss out! If you haven’t signed up yet for this year’s MTA golf event, there is still time. Click here for more information and to register. There are still a few sponsorships open if your company is interested in sponsoring a hole or other opportunity. Contact the MTA for more information.
On June 14, the PUC issued an order based on action from it’s June 7 meeting. The Order includes a template telcos should use for lifeline applications for the remainder of 2012. The template can be accessed by clicking here. Any questions should be directed to MTA President/CEO Brent Christensen at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-288-3723.
From Finance and Commerce
Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed Beverly Jones Heydinger to be the next chair of the Public Utilities Commission. Heydinger has served as a judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings since 1999. Prior to that she spent two decades with the Minnesota Attorney General's office. Heydinger also currently chairs the Minnesota Supreme Court's committee that oversees grants that provide legal assistance to low income Minnesotans.
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Working in hot weather is not only uncomfortable, it can be life-threatening. As the weather continues to heat up, it is imperative that we recognize the signs of heat stress and take precautions to reduce the chance of illness or death.
When the body is unable to cool itself by sweating, several heat-induced illnesses can occur, including death. The following information will help workers understand what heat stress is, how it may affect their health and safety, and how it can be prevented.
High temperature and humidity; direct sun or heat; limited air movement; physical exertion; poor physical condition; some medications; inadequate tolerance for hot workplaces; and insufficient water intake can all lead to heat stress. As you can see, each of us can be affected differently depending on personal conditions. One worker may show no signs of heat stress while another worker in the same area does.
Heat Stroke is the most serious heat-related disorder and occurs when the body's temperature regulation fails and body temperature rises to critical levels. It is a medical emergency that may result in death. The primary signs and symptoms of heat stroke are confusion; irrational behavior; loss of consciousness; convulsions; a lack of sweating (usually); hot, dry skin; and an abnormally high body temperature. If a worker shows signs of possible heat stroke, professional medical treatment should be obtained immediately. Until professional medical treatment is available, the worker should be placed in a shady, cool area and the outer clothing should be removed. Douse the worker with cool water and circulate air to improve evaporative cooling. Provide the worker with fluids (preferably water) as soon as possible.
Heat Exhaustion is only partly due to exhaustion; it is a result of the combination of excessive heat and dehydration. Signs and symptoms are headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, thirst, and giddiness. Fainting or heat collapse is often associated with heat exhaustion. Workers suffering from heat exhaustion should be removed from the hot environment and given fluid replacement. They should also be encouraged to get adequate rest, and when possible, ice packs should be applied.
Heat Cramps are usually caused by performing hard physical labor in a hot environment. Heat cramps have been attributed to an electrolyte imbalance caused by sweating and are normally caused by the lack of water replenishment. It is imperative that workers in hot environments drink water every 15 to 20 minutes and also drink carbohydrate-electrolyte replacement liquids (e.g., sports drinks) to help minimize physiological disturbances during recovery.
Acclimate workers by exposing them to work in a hot environment for progressively longer periods.
Replace fluids by providing cool water or any cool liquid (except alcoholic and caffeinated beverages) to workers and encourage them to drink small amounts frequently, e.g., one cup every 20 minutes. Ample supplies of liquids should be placed close to the work area.
Reduce the physical demands by reducing physical exertion such as excessive lifting, climbing, or digging with heavy objects. Use relief workers or assign extra workers, and minimize overexertion.
Provide recovery areas such as air-conditioned buildings and vehicles and provide intermittent rest periods with water breaks.
Reschedule hot jobs for the cooler part of the day. Routine maintenance and repair work in hot areas should be scheduled for the cooler days if possible.
Monitor workers who are at risk of heat stress, such as those wearing semi-waterproof or waterproof clothing when the temperature exceeds 70°F, while working at high energy levels.
Remind employees not to wait until they are thirsty to drink water. Being thirsty is not a good signal of the body’s need for water. By the time a person is thirsty, he or she already may have lost too much water and work performance already has declined.
Everyone should be aware of the symptoms of heat stress and keep a lookout for each other. Many times, workers do not realize that they are experiencing a heat-related illness until someone else points it out.
Dan Berg, M.S.
Lead Safety Consultant
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