OSHA App Offers Tips For Surviving Extreme Arizona Heat

Jun 18, 2015

Rising temperatures have much of Arizona and the Southwest under an extreme heat advisory until Monday.

As part of a statewide heat-safety campaign, the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health is using the ubiquity of cellphones to spread the word about heat safety to outdoor workers, as well as the general public.

The heat-safety app, developed by OSHA, calculates the heat index and then displays information about heat illness signs and how to avoid danger.

"Knowing the heat index will give them an understanding of, 'Hey, this is what’s going to be imposed on my body.' This is what it’s really going to feel like," said Jesse Atencio, assistant director of ADOSH.

The heat index is determined by measuring temperature and humidity. Duration of exposure is also a factor, especially for outdoor workers, such as agricultural, highway and construction workers, as well as the military.

“There’s so much of the younger generation coming into the work force that are really savvy with these apps, so we try and let them know there are other ways you can learn this safety and health stuff," Atencio said.

The OSHA Heat Safety Tool is available on both Android and iOS.

In 2013, the last year for which a full data set is available, 151 deaths from heat occurred in Arizona. And more than 2,000 people visited the emergency room due heat related-illnesses, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.