Heat Illness Safety Training, Saves Lives

CWA’s Occupational Safety and Health Department provided a two-day training session for members of CWA Locals 6215 and 6210 in Dallas, Tex. The training, conducted by Randy Rodriguez, Local 6222 occupational safety and health chair, and Mary Ann Hopkins, president, Local 6502, took up topics including Working in Extreme Temperatures (Heat Illness Prevention) and hazardous materials. The heat stress training helps members identify and respond to the symptoms of heat illness, and emphasizes employer responsibilities for providing adequate training and personal protective equipment and properly responding to members.

Just one week after the session, a member of Local 6210 was working alone in an attic and then outdoors for several hours. The average temperature for the day was 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The member initially reported feeling hot and nauseous to management, but continued working while again notifying management that his symptoms were not going away and assistance was needed.

The member contacted the steward who attended the safety and health training, who advised the member to seek water, rest and shade. On arrival, the steward determined that emergency services were needed and called 911; the member was hospitalized and hasn’t yet been authorized to return to work.

Local 6219 President Dwayne Webb encouraged all CWA members to participate in safety and health training, stressing that his member’s life was saved as a result of the session.