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Protective Equipment Quiz

Forcing Employees to Wear Protective Equipment in Sweltering Conditions

SITUATION

The July heat wave has reached its third day with temperatures at a balmy 37° C (100° F). Your employees are about to enter a storage bin to perform cleaning operations. The bin is a confined space and the air inside contains high concentrations of a hazardous chemical; so respirators are an absolute must. Normally, that’s not a problem. But wearing a heavy respirator in this hot weather puts the work crew at high risk of heat stress. So employees refuse to enter the space unless they can remove their respirators.

QUESTION

What should you do?

A) Let them remove their respirators just this once to avoid heat stress
B) Make them wear respirators because the hazardous chemicals in the air pose the more immediate risk
C) Put off the operation until the weather cools
D) Let them do the operation without respirators but in short work/rest cycles

ANSWER

C. Of these three, postponing the operation is the o...

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