As we head toward the end of this dismal season let’s not get lazy with safety…. injuries always pick up at the end of each season due to the heat, our mental tiredness, and a rush to get through.  Don’t let “vacation blindness” affect your operation or it could be costly – we must stay alert through the last day!

OSHA Heat Stress Information

Heat and humidity has started its wickedness after a nice, long spring this year!   As the heat index rises with the summer approaching, please remind your supervisors to monitor all workers and make sure that adequate water is available for drinking.  As soon as the heat arrived we had two serious cases of heat illness that required hospitalization of field workers due to the seriousness of their heat-related illness.  We have enclosed a hand-out we have here at CHAPP in English and Spanish that describe symptoms and treatment of the different levels of heat illness.  Please call our office if you would like more copies for your employees!

With summer comes our daily thunderstorms and lightning!   Lightning strikes kill 75 – 100 people annually in the United States and we are lucky enough to live and work in Florida – the lightning “capitol”!  Please make sure your employees are aware of the dangers of lightning and your supervisors monitor the weather daily to plan their activities.  This time of year thunderstorms are a daily occurrence – and a safety hazard to field workers.  Florida has about one million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes each year. The number one area for fatalities is in open fields, followed by water related areas, under trees, and driving equipment like farm tractors. These occur mostly in the months of June and July in the afternoon at about 3:45 PM.  Training hand-outs are available here at CHAPP to help your employees with lightning awareness!

Now that school is out child labor issues start to surface! Please remember that Florida’s child labor law is tougher than Federal law so the state standards are what we have to follow when employing minors (anyone under 18 – with some exceptions.)  Three important issues are proof of age (which must be maintained at the job site), different minor age groups have type-of-work and hours-of-work restrictions, and the Child Labor Poster must be displayed if minors are employed.  The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation has information on their web site that should answer any questions you may have on the restrictions as well as the poster you must display (http://www.myflorida.com/dbpr/pro/childlabor/index.shtml) or you can contact our office to discuss your concerns!

If your Contractor’s License (crew leader cards) expire during the summer months it is better for you to send in your renewal application before you leave Florida for the summer.  By doing this your licenses will be ready when you return – all you will have to do is add your endorsements (housing, transportation, etc) to start the season.  That is much easier than trying to do it all at one time – at the State’s busiest time of the year!  Please call our compliance staff with any questions!

Coming in August is the annual Southwest Florida Citrus Expo on August 23rd and 24th at the Lee County Convention Center outside Ft. Myers.  Come see us there in booth 301!

We would appreciate any ideas for topics, comments on our information, and any questions you may have!  Please call us at (800)242-7898 or e-mail us at wwurth@chappinc.com .  Remember: at work or at play, let SAFETY lead the way!