In this Edition... The Heat is On

We all know just how warm the summers can be in Missouri and if we are not careful, those sunny days can leave you with some not so hot memories. To beat the heat, the Department put together some helpful hot tips for the various labor occasions: know a thing or two before taking a dip into a nearby watering hole, quench your thirst on the job by bringing extra water if you work outside, take some friction off of your pocket book and learn about school scholarship programs before summer is over. 

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A Workplace Cool Kit

Buckling Up Works

Now that we have entered the heart of summer here in the Midwest, heat waves are upon us and they can be the most deadly weather-related exposure in the United States. In fact, they account for more deaths annually over hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined.

The estimated *770,000 Missourians that work outside some part of their day have an even higher risk of being exposed to the sun’s harmful rays than most. More than 400 worker injuries were reported to the Department in 2010 due to heat prostration, which includes heat stroke, sun stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and other effects of environmental heat (but excludes sunburn). In 2011, already 69 heat related work injuries have been reported and unfortunately, one worker lost (his/her) life.

Before you head out to work all day under the hot sun, make sure you have an adequate supply of water. Even though employers are required to provide water supply for workers, it never hurts to bring more to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Sixty percent of the human body is composed of water and, considering perspiration and breathing are two of the ways our bodies lose water, outdoor workers require more replenishment than the average recommended amount.

Although necessary water intake varies from person to person, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) set the following guidelines to consider:

  • One should drink six to eight ounces in the hour before starting work.
  • While working, one should consume enough water to keep from being thirsty, which is approximated at two to three glasses (16-32 ounces) each hour.

It is important to note that consuming too much water (more than 12 quarts in 24 hours) can be harmful. Also, it is equally relevant to replace essential salts and minerals that your body loses due to perspiration, which can be found in certain sports beverages.

So before you head out to work, make sure to pack a few bottles of water along with some sports drinks in a small cooler. Stay quenched, stay healthy!

*Information provided by MERIC. Total number includes workers in the following occupations: construction, mining and logging, gasoline stations, utilities, truck transportation, amusement/gambling/recreation, accommodations and food services, repair and maintenance, and local government.

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Hot Holes NOT for Play

College Grads - Job Outlook

As summer heats up and people hit the trails and swimming holes, Missourians need to be aware of the dangers associated with exploring or swimming at active or abandoned mine sites. Every year, dozens of people are injured or killed in accidents on mine property in the U.S.

Missouri, known as the Mine and Cave State, has more than 300 mines and 6,000 caves-- leaving plenty of opportunity for summer fun-goers to make a bad decision by taking a dip in an old mine site. In our state, more than 13 Missourians (non-miners) lost their lives in the past 10 years in abandoned or active mine sites.

“We’ve seen some unfortunate injuries and deaths in our state-- ranging from folks four-wheeling near a quarry cliff and falling into the cavity or people diving into a water hole and getting injured from the equipment that was left behind, submerged in the water, “ says Les Thomas, program manager of the Department’s Mine and Cave Safety Program. “People need to learn more information about the terrain and their surroundings before they head off for a good time”.

Another important tip is for property owners with land containing an abandoned or active mine to post signs around the property, letting others know about the sites and the dangers associated with mines.

The Mine and Cave Safety Program inspects all 19 show caves in the state twice a year to ensure our state’s treasures are safe for family fun. However, inactive mine sites are not inspected and so Missourians have a responsibility to understand the dangers in hanging out near them. To see a full list of Missouri show caves or for information about proper mine and cave safety, call 573-52-MINE1.

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Summer Scholarships for Student Survivors

OSHA Crane Law

Losing a mother or father due to a work related is devastating for a child, both mentally and financially. Often their dreams of going to school and becoming whatever they want to become are crushed as the daily needs become the priority of the household. A non-profit organization called Missouri Kids’ Chance, helps these survivors get an education when they may not have otherwise had the opportunity.

Missouri Kids’ Chance will provide post-high school scholarships to around 50 students in the hope of giving them a brighter future.

Depending on the individual student’s educational financial needs, scholarships may differ, but can cover expenses such as; tuition, books, supplies, housing, meals, etc. These scholarships can be unique to an individual student’s needs to aid in meeting expenses not covered by normal grants or scholarships. Another great aspect is the opportunity scholars have to renew their scholarship each year/term subject to available funds.

Funding for this program comes from a myriad of different places including various donations, fundraisers, and last but not least, the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), which has donated $50,000 annually since 1998. Additionally, the DWC hosted recent golf tournaments in both St. Louis and Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. during which it raised $55,000 for Kids’ Chance.

For the 2011-2012 school year, the Kids’ Chance Board of Directors has approved $80,000 of scholarships, in addition to the money already supplied by the DWC.

To find out more about MO KIDS’ CHANCE visit the organization's website.

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