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OSHA Region VI's El Paso Area Office Participates in Heat Illness Prevention Training Held by Construction Company

OSHA Region VI's El Paso Area Office participated in a heat illness prevention training session with Vaughn Construction on May 11, 2011, in El Paso, Texas. The theme of the event was "OSHA's Heat Illness Prevention Campaign." Vaughn Construction trained 230 workers, including subcontractors, on how to avoid heat illness, symptoms of heat illness, and what to do when a worker has heat illness. The company has several construction projects throughout Texas.

The training, provided in English and Spanish, was conducted by Mayda Cazarez, Project Safety Coordinator for Vaughn Construction. Abraham Arzola, OSHA's Compliance Assistance Specialist in El Paso, gave a speech at one of the training sessions on OSHA's Heat Illness Prevention Campaign.

Vaughn Construction obtained their heat illness prevention training materials and information from the OSHA Web site. These OSHA materials included fact sheets and posters in English and Spanish. Vaughn Construction posted several posters throughout their construction sites to continue to communicate the importance of heat illness prevention to their workers and subcontractors. The OSHA El Paso Area Office also provided additional posters in English and Spanish to Vaughn Construction.

Arzola noted that this training was a good example of a construction company using OSHA's heat illness prevention resources to provide critical information on the dangers of heat illness to workers, supervisors, and subcontractors. After the training, workers and supervisors provided positive feedback, including:

"Taking the time to learn about this subject is good because it made me realize how to see the signs of a heat stroke and what do to about it." Craftsman for El Paso ARC Company.
"I feel like the company cares about me because you took the time to teach me how to help myself when I work in the hot weather. I didn't know that it was important to drink water instead of just drinking soda all day." Laborer for Vaughn Construction.
"I learned that it's important for me to drink water and take breaks even when I'm not thirsty so I can do a better job when I'm working out in the sun and it's hot." Craftsman for Diversified Interiors Company.
"The presentation made me see that this was a very real situation that can happen to me or my friends at work and I need to take care of myself and others by drinking water and taking breaks." Laborer for Vaughn Construction.
"I never had thought about how important it is to take the steps to keep cool before it's too late and get sick when it's too hot." Craftsman for The Garrick Group.
"As a supervisor I never thought about this until today. If I let my workers have 10 minute breaks they give me 50 minutes of good work. If I don't give them that time they can get sick and won't be able to work at all. I see now why giving my workers time to get a drink of water is important so that they can be better workers." Superintendent for Performance Glass and Aluminum Company.

For more information, please contact Abraham Arzola.

As of July 2011

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