Keeping cool during coast clean up

US Coast GuardAs temperatures continue to rise and heat advisories are issued in Louisiana, the health and safety of all workers remains the Unified Command's top priority. Unified Command policy requires all on-shore and near-shore cleanup workers to follow a work/rest cycle to ensure their safety and well-being.

In conjunction with OSHA approval and the collaboration of a board-certified doctor, all workers are required to follow heat stress management plan work schedules. The schedule requires specific work-rest regimen which differs depending on the heat index at the moment, the work being done and the type of protective clothing being worn.

The work/rest regimen is a method used to decrease heat stress and provide all workers with the safest working conditions. The Unified Command is committed to the health and safety of all workers and to providing timely and thorough preventative steps and response to health and safety concerns. In addition, cleanup workers must be provided with plenty of water and encouraged to hydrate regularly.

Workers with heat issues are encouraged to report conditions and seek medical attention. First responders are also on standby at field locations ready to respond to any heat and health-related issues.

The Unified Command has been established to manage response operations to the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. A Unified Command links the organizations responding to an incident and provides a process for those organizations to make consensus decisions. The Houma Unified Command is responsible for all operations in Louisiana.

For more information about heat stress, read OSHA's fact sheet on Protecting Workers from the Effects of Heat.

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