Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

IAM141.org

On April 28, the Machinists Union gathered to honor workers lost to preventable accidents on Workers Memorial Day, pledging to continue the fight for safer working conditions.

Workers Memorial Day serves as a poignant reminder of the lives lost to workplace hazards and the need for better safety standards. Among those remembered was Albert Williams, a highly respected ramp agent at United Airlines, who tragically suffered a severe health crisis while at work and passed away in August 2022. A dedicated union representative, he was deeply involved in community service events through Houston’s Local Lodge 811, where he also served as an auditor. Born in Louisiana, Williams was a devoted father and avid LSU football fan.

Although he never got to see his sons reach their college football dreams, he would have been proud. AJ, his younger son, won a football scholarship, and is now a freshman at Mary-Harden Baylor. His elder son, Zion Williams, is close to graduating from the University of Houston.  His daughter, Jaden, is a medical assistant in the Dallas area. Williams had been married to his wife Jaha for 20 years before his untimely passing.

Albert was among the workers honored at this year’s ceremony. 

“Despite all of our progress, we are still reminded every year of the dangerous nature of our work,” emphasized IAM International President Brian Bryant. “We are reminded that it is our union’s most sacred duty to ensure our members’ safety.”

The ceremony was held at the IAM William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center at Workers’ Memorial Park. It brought together union members and leaders to honor workers who lost their lives due to preventable workplace injuries and illnesses. The event emphasized the importance of continuing to advocate for strong safety standards in workplaces across the country. A wreath was laid at the memorial to pay tribute to those who had passed, and attendees observed a moment of silence in their honor.

Brian Bryant and Michael Oathout, IAM Safety and Health Director, delivered remarks urging members to hold employers accountable and fight for safe working conditions. Oathout stated, “We must continue to bond together to keep our families, coworkers, and neighbors safe. We must hold employers accountable to keep workers safe. We must fight to protect our fundamental right to a safe job.” The ceremony served as a powerful reminder of the human cost of unsafe workplaces and the need for continued vigilance in protecting workers’ rights to a safe job.

Recent statistics on workplace fatalities emphasize the urgency of this cause. In 2022, workplace fatalities rose by 5.7%, resulting in 5,486 deaths, with transportation incidents being the leading cause, accounting for 37.7% of all deaths. Violence-related deaths also saw an increase of 11.6%, underscoring the range of risks that workers face. Workers in transportation and material moving occupations experienced the highest number of fatalities, followed by construction workers. Additionally, significant disparities were found in fatality rates among different demographics, particularly Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino workers.

These statistics highlight the critical importance of workplace safety initiatives and reinforce the need for stronger regulations to prevent these preventable tragedies.

To watch the ceremony, click here. To view the full photo gallery, click here.

Fallen Members: 18
Frederick M. Anderson, Jr. – TCU/IAM Local 6334
James Balk – IAM Local 2777
Albert Banks Sr. – IAM Local 1445
Matthew Carter – IAM Local 4 
Derek James Etzcorn – IAM Local 1635
Bryan Fleigle – IAM Local 175
Daniel Fumar – IAM Local 1781
Sandra Grosberger – IAM Local 175
John Hammerbacker Jr. – IAM Local 175
Sherri Harrison – IAM Local 175
Devvin Patrick Hasson – TCU/IAM Local 6004
Otha “Jay” Jones Jr. – IAM Local 2003
Kevin Lamond – IAM Local 175
Robert “Jeff” Moore – IAM Local 18
Robert H. Skinner – IAM Local 18
Christina Smith – IAM Local 1635
Danny Suafoa – IAM Local 2202/District 142
Terry Trowbridge – IAM Local 175 

Special Remembrances: 11
Retired Business Rep for IAM Local 1769/District 75 – Charles Cooper Jr.
Retired IAM Local 2003 Member – Carl “CT”  Dean
Retired GST Special Assistant – Steven Dunn
Retired Railroad Coordinator/General Chair – Mark “Flip” Filipovic
Grand Lodge Auditor – Michael Gonzales
Retired Western Territory Chief of Staff – Robert Gregory
Retired Director of Legislative and MNPL – William Holayter
Retired IAM Local 1125 Life Member – Wayne Ihrig
Retired Headquarters Resident General Vice President – George Poulin 
Retired Grand Lodge Representative – Jack Sams
Retired IAM Local  777 Member – Terry R. Sutton

Related News

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIn the smoky workshops of late 19th century America, a revolution was brewing. The Industrial Age, with its booming factories and powerful railroads, had brought both progress and hardship.The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIAM141.org 14...

Stay up to date with all the latest news and information from the District 141 of the Machinists Union

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

3 May 2024

On April 28, the Machinists Union gathered to honor workers lost to preventable accidents on Workers Memorial Day, pledging to continue the fight for safer working conditions.

Workers Memorial Day serves as a poignant reminder of the lives lost to workplace hazards and the need for better safety standards. Among those remembered was Albert Williams, a highly respected ramp agent at United Airlines, who tragically suffered a severe health crisis while at work and passed away in August 2022. A dedicated union representative, he was deeply involved in community service events through Houston’s Local Lodge 811, where he also served as an auditor. Born in Louisiana, Williams was a devoted father and avid LSU football fan.

Although he never got to see his sons reach their college football dreams, he would have been proud. AJ, his younger son, won a football scholarship, and is now a freshman at Mary-Harden Baylor. His elder son, Zion Williams, is close to graduating from the University of Houston.  His daughter, Jaden, is a medical assistant in the Dallas area. Williams had been married to his wife Jaha for 20 years before his untimely passing.

Albert was among the workers honored at this year’s ceremony.

“Despite all of our progress, we are still reminded every year of the dangerous nature of our work,” emphasized IAM International President Brian Bryant. “We are reminded that it is our union’s most sacred duty to ensure our members’ safety.”

The ceremony was held at the IAM William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center at Workers’ Memorial Park. It brought together union members and leaders to honor workers who lost their lives due to preventable workplace injuries and illnesses. The event emphasized the importance of continuing to advocate for strong safety standards in workplaces across the country. A wreath was laid at the memorial to pay tribute to those who had passed, and attendees observed a moment of silence in their honor.

Brian Bryant and Michael Oathout, IAM Safety and Health Director, delivered remarks urging members to hold employers accountable and fight for safe working conditions. Oathout stated, “We must continue to bond together to keep our families, coworkers, and neighbors safe. We must hold employers accountable to keep workers safe. We must fight to protect our fundamental right to a safe job.” The ceremony served as a powerful reminder of the human cost of unsafe workplaces and the need for continued vigilance in protecting workers’ rights to a safe job.

Recent statistics on workplace fatalities emphasize the urgency of this cause. In 2022, workplace fatalities rose by 5.7%, resulting in 5,486 deaths, with transportation incidents being the leading cause, accounting for 37.7% of all deaths. Violence-related deaths also saw an increase of 11.6%, underscoring the range of risks that workers face. Workers in transportation and material moving occupations experienced the highest number of fatalities, followed by construction workers. Additionally, significant disparities were found in fatality rates among different demographics, particularly Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino workers.

These statistics highlight the critical importance of workplace safety initiatives and reinforce the need for stronger regulations to prevent these preventable tragedies.

To watch the ceremony, click here. To view the full photo gallery, click here.

Fallen Members: 18
Frederick M. Anderson, Jr. – TCU/IAM Local 6334
James Balk – IAM Local 2777
Albert Banks Sr. – IAM Local 1445
Matthew Carter – IAM Local 4 
Derek James Etzcorn – IAM Local 1635
Bryan Fleigle – IAM Local 175
Daniel Fumar – IAM Local 1781
Sandra Grosberger – IAM Local 175
John Hammerbacker Jr. – IAM Local 175
Sherri Harrison – IAM Local 175
Devvin Patrick Hasson – TCU/IAM Local 6004
Otha “Jay” Jones Jr. – IAM Local 2003
Kevin Lamond – IAM Local 175
Robert “Jeff” Moore – IAM Local 18
Robert H. Skinner – IAM Local 18
Christina Smith – IAM Local 1635
Danny Suafoa – IAM Local 2202/District 142
Terry Trowbridge – IAM Local 175 

Special Remembrances: 11
Retired Business Rep for IAM Local 1769/District 75 – Charles Cooper Jr.
Retired IAM Local 2003 Member – Carl “CT”  Dean
Retired GST Special Assistant – Steven Dunn
Retired Railroad Coordinator/General Chair – Mark “Flip” Filipovic
Grand Lodge Auditor – Michael Gonzales
Retired Western Territory Chief of Staff – Robert Gregory
Retired Director of Legislative and MNPL – William Holayter
Retired IAM Local 1125 Life Member – Wayne Ihrig
Retired Headquarters Resident General Vice President – George Poulin 
Retired Grand Lodge Representative – Jack Sams
Retired IAM Local  777 Member – Terry R. Sutton

Related

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIn the smoky workshops of late 19th century America, a revolution was brewing. The Industrial Age, with its booming factories and powerful railroads, had brought both progress and hardship.The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIAM141.org 14...

Transcript: Alaska Airlines Pilot Calm Under Depressure

Transcript: Alaska Airlines Pilot Calm Under Depressure

Transcript: Alaska Airlines Pilot Calm Under Depressure

Transcript: Alaska Airlines Pilot Calm Under Depressure

IAM141.org

The pilot flying the Alaska Airlines flight from Portland to Seattle last Friday is getting noticed for her super-chill handling a blowout of a cabin door as her plane was three miles in the air.

Just after 5 pm local time on Friday, an emergency door that had been deactivated and converted for use as part of the regular cabin structure blew out at an altitude of 16,000 feet. The plane was carrying 171 passengers and six crew members at the time.

This terrifying event resulted in the depressurization of the cabin. The force of air rushing in was so powerful that it ripped off the shirt of a young boy, who was held tightly by his mother. Multiple passengers also watched helplessly as their phones were sucked out into the night sky.

The pilots touched down safely at Portland International Airport just 20 minutes after takeoff.  

Fortunately, no one aboard was seriously injured, thanks in part to the fact that the rows next to the door were empty. 

But a larger factor in preventing the incident from worsening was the pilot’s remarkably calm approach to managing the crisis. In fact, her demeanor was so steady and controlled that Air Traffic Control needed to ask if an emergency was happening at all.

Air traffic controller: “Alaska 1282 did you declare an emergency or did you need to return to …”

Alaska Airlines pilot: “Yes, we are in an emergency. We are depressurized. We do need to return. We have 177 passengers. Fuel is 18-eight.”

The pilot, whose name had not been made public at the time of this writing, was also credited with preventing panic among passengers.

In a report published by NBC News, multiple passengers praised the flight crew for their composure and credited the “calmness” of the pilot’s voice as being what had “kept everyone calm.”

Below: Transcript from Alaska Airlines Flight 1282

Air traffic controller: “1282 foreign approach. Good afternoon. You still have information zero?”

Alaska Airlines pilot: “Yeah, we do have information zero, we’d like to get lower, if possible.”

Air traffic controller: “Possibility 1282 descend and maintain 7,000.”

Air traffic controller: “Alaska 1282 did you declare an emergency or did you need to return to …”

Alaska Airlines pilot: “Yes, we are in an emergency, we are depressurized, we do need to return back to, we have 177 passengers. Fuel is 18-eight.”

Jennifer Homendy, Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, said that “maintenance crews checked the plane and cleared it to fly — but the airline decided not to use it for the long route to Hawaii over water so that it ‘could return very quickly to an airport’ if the warning light reappeared.”

In the wake of the Alaska Airlines incident, other airlines and federal agencies are implementing additional safety measures.

United Airlines, which operates the Boeing 737 Max 9, has begun inspections of its fleet, focusing particularly on the door plugs and pressurization systems. The airline is reviewing installation procedures and adjusting protocols as necessary.

In a memo to employees, the airline said, “As of Monday, service on that aircraft remains suspended, and we have canceled 200 MAX 9 flights. We expect significant cancellations on Tuesday as well, though we have been able to operate some planned flights by switching to other aircraft types, avoiding about 30 cancellations on both Monday and Tuesday.”

As part of the inspections, United is removing two rows of seats and the sidewall liner to access each door plug, a task already completed on most MAX 9s. The process also involves inspecting and verifying the proper installation of the door and frame hardware, opening the door to inspect the area around it and the seal, ensuring any loose door bolts are tightened, and then re-securing the door to ensure it is properly fitted.

United’s teams will then document and correct any discrepancies before an aircraft returns to service. Each inspection requires a team of five United technicians and takes several hours per aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued new inspection guidelines for Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft. The FAA is ensuring that all airlines adhere to these updated safety measures and inspection requirements in an effort to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Maria Deacon, Tech Ops SVP at United, stressed the importance of diligence during this process. In a message to employees, she said, ‘It’s absolutely crucial we all maintain our focus on safety and compliance, and not be distracted or feel rushed.’

Related News

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIn the smoky workshops of late 19th century America, a revolution was brewing. The Industrial Age, with its booming factories and powerful railroads, had brought both progress and hardship.The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIAM141.org 14...

Stay up to date with all the latest news and information from the District 141 of the Machinists Union

Transcript: Alaska Airlines Pilot Calm Under Depressure

9 January 2024

The pilot flying the Alaska Airlines flight from Portland to Seattle last Friday is getting noticed for her super-chill handling a blowout of a cabin door as her plane was three miles in the air.

Just after 5 pm local time on Friday, an emergency door that had been deactivated and converted for use as part of the regular cabin structure blew out at an altitude of 16,000 feet. The plane was carrying 171 passengers and six crew members at the time.

This terrifying event resulted in the depressurization of the cabin. The force of air rushing in was so powerful that it ripped off the shirt of a young boy, who was held tightly by his mother. Multiple passengers also watched helplessly as their phones were sucked out into the night sky.

The pilots touched down safely at Portland International Airport just 20 minutes after takeoff.  

Fortunately, no one aboard was seriously injured, thanks in part to the fact that the rows next to the door were empty. 

But a larger factor in preventing the incident from worsening was the pilot’s remarkably calm approach to managing the crisis. In fact, her demeanor was so steady and controlled that Air Traffic Control needed to ask if an emergency was happening at all.

Air traffic controller: “Alaska 1282 did you declare an emergency or did you need to return to …”

Alaska Airlines pilot: “Yes, we are in an emergency. We are depressurized. We do need to return. We have 177 passengers. Fuel is 18-eight.”

The pilot, whose name had not been made public at the time of this writing, was also credited with preventing panic among passengers.

In a report published by NBC News, multiple passengers praised the flight crew for their composure and credited the “calmness” of the pilot’s voice as being what had “kept everyone calm.”

Below: Transcript from Alaska Airlines Flight 1282

Air traffic controller: “1282 foreign approach. Good afternoon. You still have information zero?”

Alaska Airlines pilot: “Yeah, we do have information zero, we’d like to get lower, if possible.”

Air traffic controller: “Possibility 1282 descend and maintain 7,000.”

Air traffic controller: “Alaska 1282 did you declare an emergency or did you need to return to …”

Alaska Airlines pilot: “Yes, we are in an emergency, we are depressurized, we do need to return back to, we have 177 passengers. Fuel is 18-eight.”

Jennifer Homendy, Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, said that “maintenance crews checked the plane and cleared it to fly — but the airline decided not to use it for the long route to Hawaii over water so that it ‘could return very quickly to an airport’ if the warning light reappeared.”

In the wake of the Alaska Airlines incident, other airlines and federal agencies are implementing additional safety measures.

United Airlines, which operates the Boeing 737 Max 9, has begun inspections of its fleet, focusing particularly on the door plugs and pressurization systems. The airline is reviewing installation procedures and adjusting protocols as necessary.

In a memo to employees, the airline said, “As of Monday, service on that aircraft remains suspended, and we have canceled 200 MAX 9 flights. We expect significant cancellations on Tuesday as well, though we have been able to operate some planned flights by switching to other aircraft types, avoiding about 30 cancellations on both Monday and Tuesday.”

As part of the inspections, United is removing two rows of seats and the sidewall liner to access each door plug, a task already completed on most MAX 9s. The process also involves inspecting and verifying the proper installation of the door and frame hardware, opening the door to inspect the area around it and the seal, ensuring any loose door bolts are tightened, and then re-securing the door to ensure it is properly fitted.

United’s teams will then document and correct any discrepancies before an aircraft returns to service. Each inspection requires a team of five United technicians and takes several hours per aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued new inspection guidelines for Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft. The FAA is ensuring that all airlines adhere to these updated safety measures and inspection requirements in an effort to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Maria Deacon, Tech Ops SVP at United, stressed the importance of diligence during this process. In a message to employees, she said, ‘It’s absolutely crucial we all maintain our focus on safety and compliance, and not be distracted or feel rushed.’

Related

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIn the smoky workshops of late 19th century America, a revolution was brewing. The Industrial Age, with its booming factories and powerful railroads, had brought both progress and hardship.The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIAM141.org 14...

Airline Worker Injuries on Rise

Airline Worker Injuries on Rise

Airline Worker Injuries on Rise

IAM141.org

As heatwaves plague the country, few places are hotter than Phoenix. Workers and city officials gathered at Phoenix Sky Harbor on Wednesday to share heat-related health and safety concerns. 

Sky Harbor Local Lodge 2559, which represents several hundred Machinists Union members, helped lead the event. 

Backed by Phoenix Vice Mayor Yassamin Anasari, airport, and airline workers announced that they had filed a formal OSHA complaint against aviation support services provider Prospect Airport Services for allegedly not ensuring basic worker protections amid Phoenix’s record-high temperatures.

In 2023, Phoenix saw an astounding 31 consecutive days, with temperatures soaring at or over 110 degrees. The record-breaking streak was only one record that was shattered this year. In July, temperatures rose to 119 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, the highest temperature in the city’s history.  

The previous record was set back in 1989.

Workers met outside Terminal 4, holding signs and photos depicting Arizona’s extreme heat. One man had an image of a temperature gauge reading 113 degrees. One cabin cleaner said she was recently hospitalized because of the intense heat. “Over the course of the last few months, I’ve experienced nearly every symptom of heat illness,” she told local news outlet AZ Family. “I’ve suffered from extreme fatigue, weakness, headaches, vomiting, muscle cramps, loss of coordination, and nausea,” she said. “Our uniforms only make the heat worse. We often aren’t given access to water to drink on the airplanes while we’re cleaning the cabins. Sometimes I resort to drinking water left over by passengers.”

According to AZ Family, officials said the OSHA complaint aimed to “hold major airlines and their contractors accountable” for workers’ health and safety amid extreme heat. 

Phoenix airport workers also demanded Congress pass the “Good Jobs for Good Airports Act” to improve pay and benefits. Employees earned just $13-$14 per hour, some told AZ Family. “Our wages and benefits are a slap in the face after coming into the airport day in and day out to make it possible for these airlines to function,” said Cecilia Ortiz, a lead wheelchair assistant. “We cannot continue to live like this. We cannot continue to be paid poverty wages without quality employer-paid health care and other benefits like paid time off.”

The “Good Jobs for good Airports Act” would increase labor standards for service workers at airports that get federal funding and would apply to the vast majority of all unified workers in the nation. The proposed legislation has the backing of 43 co-sponsors.

According to Senator Ed Markey, the lead sponsor of the bill, the legislation would “provide airport workers with the pay, benefits, and labor standards they deserve after serving on the frontlines of our nation’s aviation system and keeping airports safe through a global pandemic, climate disasters, and peak travel seasons.” 

“In the face of ongoing health risks, airport service workers – including cleaners, wheelchair agents, baggage handlers, concessionaires, and security personnel – continue to play an essential role in keeping Americans moving. This legislation would improve job quality for hundreds of thousands of airport service workers – a largely Black, Brown, and immigrant workforce – by setting minimum wage and benefits levels at all major airports that receive federal funding.”

According to OSHA figures released this week, the number of on-the-job injuries at airports declined in 2020 when travel dropped due to the pandemic. However, as flights resumed, injuries rapidly rebounded and are now higher than before the pandemic. On September 1, a tragic accident occurred at Boston Logan Airport when a forklift operator was pinned by a metal beam and killed while servicing a JetBlue flight, highlighting the dangers airport workers continue to face. The agent’s name was not released, but he worked for a JetBlue contractor.

In that incident, authorities reported the 51-year-old forklift operator from Winthrop was working in an outdoor loading area at Terminal C when attempting to drive the lift through a bag service entrance. Tragically, the forklift’s backrest extension was raised at the time, according to Massachusetts State Police. 

This safety attachment is designed to protect drivers, but in this case, it led to the operator being fatally pinned against the entrance. The safety extension hit a metal beam intended to prevent vehicles from entering the tunnel if they are too large to drive through safely. But the extension, designed to prevent loads from tipping over and falling onto the forklift operator, caused the forklift to tip, crushing the driver. He died at Logan Hospital later that day. 

JetBlue refused to issue a statement immediately following the accident, but the airline’s ‘Code of Conduct’ reads, “Safety always comes first.” 

Another OSHA report, released in June, revealed that a failure to follow required safety procedures contributed to the tragic death of Piedmont Airlines customer service agent Courtney Edwards. According to the report, the American Airlines subsidiary did not ensure their ground crew adhered to protocols, resulting in Edwards being pulled into the spinning turbines of a jet engine, instantly killing the 34-year-old ramp agent. The heartbreaking incident highlights the immense importance of airlines enforcing strict safety measures for ramp workers to prevent such accidents that cost lives like Edwards’.

In the wake of the tragic accident, OSHA cited Piedmont Airlines for one serious violation regarding exposing the ground crew to ingestion hazards during aircraft marshaling, wing-walking, and baggage-handling duties. For this violation, OSHA has proposed $15,625 in penalties against Piedmont, an amount set by federal statute. The citation and fine highlight the need for airlines to implement and enforce proper safety protocols to protect ramp workers from harm.

Following the tragic incident, Piedmont released a statement saying that safety was their top priority.

According to Machinists Union Safety Representative Joe D’Eccliss, many of the safety issues airlines are facing can be corrected with better training, lower turnover, and more careerism in the industry. 

“Airlines need more workers,” said D’Eccliss. “Short staffing is a major driver of the accident rates we are seeing,.” He also pointed out that injury rates tend to be higher at the contractors that airlines hire to perform work. “Direct-hires at major airlines get more investment from their companies,” and also stated,  “Contractors exist to cut corners and costs, and sometimes these cuts include safety.” 

David Roderick, District Legislative Director for the Machinists Union, agrees. “The Good Jobs for Good Airports Act” will help raise wages for airline and airport workers, which will help new agents choose airline work as their career,” he said. “An experienced workforce takes a little more money but is more than worth the investment,” he continued. “We also need to fine these companies more and ensure that our union members are treated fairly.”

Related News

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIn the smoky workshops of late 19th century America, a revolution was brewing. The Industrial Age, with its booming factories and powerful railroads, had brought both progress and hardship.The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIAM141.org 14...

Stay up to date with all the latest news and information from the Machinists Union

Airline Worker Injuries on Rise

September 13, 2023

As heatwaves plague the country, few places are hotter than Phoenix. Workers and city officials gathered at Phoenix Sky Harbor on Wednesday to share heat-related health and safety concerns. 

Sky Harbor Local Lodge 2559, which represents several hundred Machinists Union members, helped lead the event. 

Backed by Phoenix Vice Mayor Yassamin Anasari, airport, and airline workers announced that they had filed a formal OSHA complaint against aviation support services provider Prospect Airport Services for allegedly not ensuring basic worker protections amid Phoenix’s record-high temperatures.

In 2023, Phoenix saw an astounding 31 consecutive days, with temperatures soaring at or over 110 degrees. The record-breaking streak was only one record that was shattered this year. In July, temperatures rose to 119 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, the highest temperature in the city’s history.  

The previous record was set back in 1989.

Workers met outside Terminal 4, holding signs and photos depicting Arizona’s extreme heat. One man had an image of a temperature gauge reading 113 degrees. One cabin cleaner said she was recently hospitalized because of the intense heat. “Over the course of the last few months, I’ve experienced nearly every symptom of heat illness,” she told local news outlet AZ Family. “I’ve suffered from extreme fatigue, weakness, headaches, vomiting, muscle cramps, loss of coordination, and nausea,” she said. “Our uniforms only make the heat worse. We often aren’t given access to water to drink on the airplanes while we’re cleaning the cabins. Sometimes I resort to drinking water left over by passengers.”

According to AZ Family, officials said the OSHA complaint aimed to “hold major airlines and their contractors accountable” for workers’ health and safety amid extreme heat. 

Phoenix airport workers also demanded Congress pass the “Good Jobs for Good Airports Act” to improve pay and benefits. Employees earned just $13-$14 per hour, some told AZ Family. “Our wages and benefits are a slap in the face after coming into the airport day in and day out to make it possible for these airlines to function,” said Cecilia Ortiz, a lead wheelchair assistant. “We cannot continue to live like this. We cannot continue to be paid poverty wages without quality employer-paid health care and other benefits like paid time off.”

The “Good Jobs for good Airports Act” would increase labor standards for service workers at airports that get federal funding and would apply to the vast majority of all unified workers in the nation. The proposed legislation has the backing of 43 co-sponsors.

According to Senator Ed Markey, the lead sponsor of the bill, the legislation would “provide airport workers with the pay, benefits, and labor standards they deserve after serving on the frontlines of our nation’s aviation system and keeping airports safe through a global pandemic, climate disasters, and peak travel seasons.” 

“In the face of ongoing health risks, airport service workers – including cleaners, wheelchair agents, baggage handlers, concessionaires, and security personnel – continue to play an essential role in keeping Americans moving. This legislation would improve job quality for hundreds of thousands of airport service workers – a largely Black, Brown, and immigrant workforce – by setting minimum wage and benefits levels at all major airports that receive federal funding.”

According to OSHA figures released this week, the number of on-the-job injuries at airports declined in 2020 when travel dropped due to the pandemic. However, as flights resumed, injuries rapidly rebounded and are now higher than before the pandemic. On September 1, a tragic accident occurred at Boston Logan Airport when a forklift operator was pinned by a metal beam and killed while servicing a JetBlue flight, highlighting the dangers airport workers continue to face. The agent’s name was not released, but he worked for a JetBlue contractor.

In that incident, authorities reported the 51-year-old forklift operator from Winthrop was working in an outdoor loading area at Terminal C when attempting to drive the lift through a bag service entrance. Tragically, the forklift’s backrest extension was raised at the time, according to Massachusetts State Police. 

This safety attachment is designed to protect drivers, but in this case, it led to the operator being fatally pinned against the entrance. The safety extension hit a metal beam intended to prevent vehicles from entering the tunnel if they are too large to drive through safely. But the extension, designed to prevent loads from tipping over and falling onto the forklift operator, caused the forklift to tip, crushing the driver. He died at Logan Hospital later that day. 

JetBlue refused to issue a statement immediately following the accident, but the airline’s ‘Code of Conduct’ reads, “Safety always comes first.” 

Another OSHA report, released in June, revealed that a failure to follow required safety procedures contributed to the tragic death of Piedmont Airlines customer service agent Courtney Edwards. According to the report, the American Airlines subsidiary did not ensure their ground crew adhered to protocols, resulting in Edwards being pulled into the spinning turbines of a jet engine, instantly killing the 34-year-old ramp agent. The heartbreaking incident highlights the immense importance of airlines enforcing strict safety measures for ramp workers to prevent such accidents that cost lives like Edwards’.

In the wake of the tragic accident, OSHA cited Piedmont Airlines for one serious violation regarding exposing the ground crew to ingestion hazards during aircraft marshaling, wing-walking, and baggage-handling duties. For this violation, OSHA has proposed $15,625 in penalties against Piedmont, an amount set by federal statute. The citation and fine highlight the need for airlines to implement and enforce proper safety protocols to protect ramp workers from harm.

Following the tragic incident, Piedmont released a statement saying that safety was their top priority.

According to Machinists Union Safety Representative Joe D’Eccliss, many of the safety issues airlines are facing can be corrected with better training, lower turnover, and more careerism in the industry. 

“Airlines need more workers,” said D’Eccliss. “Short staffing is a major driver of the accident rates we are seeing,.” He also pointed out that injury rates tend to be higher at the contractors that airlines hire to perform work. “Direct-hires at major airlines get more investment from their companies,” and also stated,  “Contractors exist to cut corners and costs, and sometimes these cuts include safety.” 

David Roderick, District Legislative Director for the Machinists Union, agrees. “The Good Jobs for Good Airports Act” will help raise wages for airline and airport workers, which will help new agents choose airline work as their career,” he said. “An experienced workforce takes a little more money but is more than worth the investment,” he continued. “We also need to fine these companies more and ensure that our union members are treated fairly.”

Related

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIn the smoky workshops of late 19th century America, a revolution was brewing. The Industrial Age, with its booming factories and powerful railroads, had brought both progress and hardship.The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIAM141.org 14...

Hurricane Idalia: Emergency Resources

Hurricane Idalia: Emergency Resources

Hurricane Idalia Emergency Resources

Union Resources

Contact your Assistant General Chair or Local Grievance Committee for help accessing the IAM Disaster Relief Fund.

Disaster Relief Information

Employee Assistance Program

IAM141 Community Service

Airports are likely to have suffered damage as a result of the storm. If you see any safety-related issues when returning to work, please complete a safety report (GSAP, GSIP, etc.)
Safety Page

All IAM members can obtain confidential help through the IAM Employee/Member Assistance Program. Services include but are not limited to addictions, mental health, stress, depression, and financial hardship.

You can reach the confidential IAM Assistance Helpline by calling 301-335-0735 or emailing iameap@iamaw.org.

As an IAM member, you could also be eligible for a $500 disaster relief grant through the Union Plus Disaster Relief Grant program.

 

Mobile Apps

Florida Storms – Florida Public Radio Emergency Network Google Play  iTunes

Florida 511 – Get up-to-the-minute, real-time traffic conditions and incident information for the State of Florida with Florida 511.

FEMA – mobile app

Red Cross – mobile apps

Everbridge – mobile apps

Gas Buddy – Gas station availability

  •  
Traffic

 

Florida 511 – Get up-to-the-minute, real-time traffic conditions and incident information for the State of Florida with Florida 511.

Florida Highway Patrol – Florida Highway Patrol Live Traffic Crash and Road Condition Report. Reports are updated every five minutes. Incidents located within city limits also may not show on the map since it is not common practice for FHP to work incidents inside city limits.

Florida Traffic – Traffic incidents and conditions from Florida 511 and Florida Highway Patrol brought to you by Florida State Emergency Response Team Geographic Information Systems.

Evacuation Information

All Florida coastal counties and counties are susceptible to storm surges, and most have designated evacuation zones. 

Mapping tool: Allows those in the storm’s path to search by address and determine if you are in a designated evacuation zone. 

Evacuation Zones – to determine if you are in a designated evacuation zone

Evacuation Orders: View Florida County evacuation orders.

Read More About Evacuation Zones – learn more about designated evacuation zones, which counties have them and which don’t, how flood zones are factored into evacuations, and evacuation orders.

Shelter Status and Openings

Please go to Summary Shelter Information for currently open general and special needs shelters within the State of Florida. 

For information from your county Emergency Management program regarding shelter preparedness and lists of potential shelters that may be opened, please visit the Shelter Information Index and choose your county.

View Open Shelters on a map.

Special Needs Assistance

If you know or care for an individual with access or functional needs, such as a medical condition that requires assistance but not hospitalization, it is important that you pre-register with the Florida Special Needs Shelter Registry.

For more Special Needs Sheltering Information, here

 

State Assistance Information Hotline
Florida’s State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) is active.

This toll-free hotline is activated to provide additional resources to help Floridians receive accurate & up-to-date information regarding Hurricane Idalia.

State Assistance Information Line: 1-800-342-3557

Report Fraud or Price Gouging
FEMA will never ask you for money to provide disaster assistance. Recognize fraud:  
  • FEMA employees will always have an official ID  
  • Don’t trust anyone who offers financial help & asks for money or personal info.  
  • Always talk with someone you trust.

Ways to Report Fraud to FEMA

For more information, visit fema.gov/disaster-fraud

Report Price Gouging in Florida

  • Call: 1-866-966-7226
Emergency Planning

While living in and visiting Florida offers many benefits and advantages, it is important to keep in mind severe weather hazards and potential threats. Every family and business should have predefined emergency plans and always keep an emergency supply kit ready and stocked.

Each Florida county has a designated emergency management program, and residents, businesses, and visitors should also visit their county’s emergency management for the most up-to-date and locally significant information.

 

Over 1,500 Flights Canceled Due to Hurricane Idalia

IAMAW141 | 30 August, 2023

By Wednesday morning, Hurricane Idalia had severely impacted the Gulf Coast Big Bend region, resulting in the cancellation of over 1,500 flights and the delay of at least 1,000 more.

The storm was the worst to hit the region in more than 120 years.

The Federal Aviation Authority has announced that multiple airports, such as Tampa, St. Pete-Clearwater, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, are shut down. They might reopen on Thursday, based on the amount of damage the storm caused.

Aviation tracking website FlightAware data shows Southwest Airlines being the hardest hit, with 200 canceled flights. American, Delta and United Airlines saw 200 additional delays and 300 cancellations at 9:00 a.m.

Passengers flying to airports in the path of Hurricane Idalia have been notified by major airlines, including Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United. These airlines offer free booking changes within a specific time frame to accommodate the hurricane’s impact on travel plans.

The National Hurricane Center reported that just before 8 a.m. ET, Idalia arrived at Keaton Beach in Florida’s Big Bend region as a Category 3 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph and even higher gusts.

In preparation for potential impacts from Invest 93L, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has declared a state of emergency for 33 counties. This order enables state officials to provide necessary resources to any affected areas.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for 33 counties in the hours leading up to Idalia’s landfall. The order allows state officials to make critical resources available to areas that the storm may impact.

Florida is home to thousands of Machinists Union Members centered around the state’s airports. 

Departments >>

Airlines and Contracts >>

ORG Chart and Local Lodges >>

IAM141 Admin >>

District Events >>

Union Forms Library >>

IAM141

IAMAW District Lodge 141
1771 Commerce Drive, Suite 103

Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-2139

CONTACT@IAM141.org

1 (847) 640-2222

$500 Fine for Employer Behind Gruesome Teenage Amputation Incident

$500 Fine for Employer Behind Gruesome Teenage Amputation Incident

Owner of US Guys Processing, Darin Wilbur. Wilbur was found guilty in a criminal case of child endangerment at his business which resulted in a teenager losing his right hand in a meat grinder. He was fined $500 plus costs for the violations. 

$500 Fine for Employer Behind Gruesome Teenage Amputation Incident

IAM141.org

On August 8, 55-year-old Darin Wilbur was fined $1,143 for hiring a minor to perform a hazardous job, leading to the young worker’s hand being lost in a meat grinder, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

The amputation happened on November 19, 2019. According to a state filing, a 17-year-old employee of US Guys Processing in Iona County, Michigan, was operating a meat grinder when his right hand was pulled into the machine.

Soon after the injury, the Michigan Wage and Hour Division took Wilbur, who was supervising him at the time of the accident, to court. The investigation found that Wilbur had illegally ordered the teen to perform work listed as “hazardous” by the State of Michigan. Investigators also found that he failed to secure a work permit for the minor, as required by Michigan law.

The Division’s findings were submitted to the State Department of the Attorney General to pursue a criminal complaint. In August, Wilbur pleaded guilty to the charges.

After the guilty plea, Ionia County District Judge Raymond Voet fined Wilbur $500, plus an additional $148 in fees owed to the teen. Wilbur was also responsible for a “costs” payment to the court.

In passing the sentence, Judge Voet said there was no compelling reason for jail time or probation. He added that child welfare laws clashed with the views of many area residents.

“Ionia County is a farming county, and I know a lot of people in this county view children working, sometimes around dangerous machinery, as part of growing up,” Judge Voet said of the case. He added that the minor would have turned 18 anyway, saying, “Two months later, we wouldn’t even be here.” Additionally, Judge Voet found that Wilbur had told him to “be careful” working with the meat grinder and was unaware of the need to secure work permits for young workers.

“Our labor laws were written to protect children from dangerous workplaces; however, they lack the teeth needed to properly hold bad employers accountable for violations,” said Nessel at the time of Wilbur’s plea. “This case highlights the need to strengthen these protections, as well as the consequences for violations, and I look forward to working with the legislature on this critical work to protect the state’s youth.”

Nessel called on the legislature to re-evaluate the fines for employing minors without the requisite permits and the current statutes and penalties surrounding using children in hazardous occupations, a misdemeanor.

US Guys Processing workers are not unified and do not possess union rights to file grievances when their employer violates the terms of their employment. They also cannot file actionable safety reports or request regular inspections of the facilities, as union members can do.

Front-line workers can file a safety report anytime in the heavily-unified airline industry. These reports are known as Ground Safety Action (GSAP) or Air Safety Action (ASAP) reports, effectively make every employee a fully-deputized safety inspector. The reports are non-punitive, meaning that union members will not face discipline if they report a safety violation or close calls involving their airport duties.

Non-Union employees often have no legal recourse if exposed to unsafe conditions at work. For most, taking a matter to court is too expensive and time-consuming to be a realistic option.

In 2022, a spate of state legislatures enacted measures to roll back child labor laws. Many would make the violations that led to the Michigan teens injuries legal by removing penalties such as fines and jail time for offenders.

Federal regulations ensuring basic safeguards for child workers were established almost a hundred years ago. The child labor regulations have led many to believe that placing teens and children in unsafe working conditions was a thing of the past. In fact, there has been a surge in breaches of child labor laws, even as state legislators are increasingly trying to dilute the criteria safeguarding children at work.

According to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, there’s been a 37% increase in minors working in contravention of child labor laws over the past year alone. Furthermore, in the last two years, a minimum of 10 states have either introduced or approved laws that diminish child labor protections. These efforts to undermine state-level child labor regulations are driven by a concerted push from industry factions aiming to weaken nationwide federal standards. Even worse, the level of child endangerment is likely much higher, as most cases go unreported or even unrecognized as instances of child abuse. As Judge Voet points out, many victims of such abuse consider their mistreatment a normal part of growing up.

Tougher penalties for child labor violations could help reduce the number of children and teens hurt and killed by abusive and exploitative employers. Still, these measures are unlikely to become law anytime soon.

As the Economic Policy Institute study points out, seven bills that will weaken protections for children in workplaces have been introduced in six states. These include Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota.) Arkansas has repealed protections for 14-year-olds, and Minnesota allows teens to work on construction sites. These policies are in addition to already-lax investigations and enforcement of child labor laws, which rely on small fines such as that levied by Judge Voet in the criminal complaint against Daren Wilbur – and those fines are only applied to reported cases. Child labor fines can be calculated as a regular cost of doing business.

Related News

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIn the smoky workshops of late 19th century America, a revolution was brewing. The Industrial Age, with its booming factories and powerful railroads, had brought both progress and hardship.The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIAM141.org 14...

Stay up to date with all the latest news and information from the Machinists Union

Owner of US Guys Processing, Darin Wilbur. Wilbur was found guilty in a criminal case of child endangerment at his business which resulted in a teenager losing his right hand in a meat grinder. He was fined $500 plus costs for the violations.

$500 Fine for Employer Behind Gruesome Teenage Amputation Incident

August 10, 2023

On August 8, 55-year-old Darin Wilbur was fined $1,143 for hiring a minor to perform a hazardous job, leading to the young worker’s hand being lost in a meat grinder, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

The amputation happened on November 19, 2019. According to a state filing, a 17-year-old employee of US Guys Processing in Iona County, Michigan, was operating a meat grinder when his right hand was pulled into the machine.

Soon after the injury, the Michigan Wage and Hour Division took Wilbur, who was supervising him at the time of the accident, to court. The investigation found that Wilbur had illegally ordered the teen to perform work listed as “hazardous” by the State of Michigan. Investigators also found that he failed to secure a work permit for the minor, as required by Michigan law.

The Division’s findings were submitted to the State Department of the Attorney General to pursue a criminal complaint. In August, Wilbur pleaded guilty to the charges.

After the guilty plea, Ionia County District Judge Raymond Voet fined Wilbur $500, plus an additional $148 in fees owed to the teen. Wilbur was also responsible for a “costs” payment to the court.

In passing the sentence, Judge Voet said there was no compelling reason for jail time or probation. He added that child welfare laws clashed with the views of many area residents.

“Ionia County is a farming county, and I know a lot of people in this county view children working, sometimes around dangerous machinery, as part of growing up,” Judge Voet said of the case. He added that the minor would have turned 18 anyway, saying, “Two months later, we wouldn’t even be here.” Additionally, Judge Voet found that Wilbur had told him to “be careful” working with the meat grinder and was unaware of the need to secure work permits for young workers.

“Our labor laws were written to protect children from dangerous workplaces; however, they lack the teeth needed to properly hold bad employers accountable for violations,” said Nessel at the time of Wilbur’s plea. “This case highlights the need to strengthen these protections, as well as the consequences for violations, and I look forward to working with the legislature on this critical work to protect the state’s youth.”

Nessel called on the legislature to re-evaluate the fines for employing minors without the requisite permits and the current statutes and penalties surrounding using children in hazardous occupations, a misdemeanor.

US Guys Processing workers are not unified and do not possess union rights to file grievances when their employer violates the terms of their employment. They also cannot file actionable safety reports or request regular inspections of the facilities, as union members can do.

Front-line workers can file a safety report anytime in the heavily-unified airline industry. These reports are known as Ground Safety Action (GSAP) or Air Safety Action (ASAP) reports, effectively make every employee a fully-deputized safety inspector. The reports are non-punitive, meaning that union members will not face discipline if they report a safety violation or close calls involving their airport duties.

Non-Union employees often have no legal recourse if exposed to unsafe conditions at work. For most, taking a matter to court is too expensive and time-consuming to be a realistic option.

In 2022, a spate of state legislatures enacted measures to roll back child labor laws. Many would make the violations that led to the Michigan teens injuries legal by removing penalties such as fines and jail time for offenders.

Federal regulations ensuring basic safeguards for child workers were established almost a hundred years ago. The child labor regulations have led many to believe that placing teens and children in unsafe working conditions was a thing of the past. In fact, there has been a surge in breaches of child labor laws, even as state legislators are increasingly trying to dilute the criteria safeguarding children at work.

According to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, there’s been a 37% increase in minors working in contravention of child labor laws over the past year alone. Furthermore, in the last two years, a minimum of 10 states have either introduced or approved laws that diminish child labor protections. These efforts to undermine state-level child labor regulations are driven by a concerted push from industry factions aiming to weaken nationwide federal standards. Even worse, the level of child endangerment is likely much higher, as most cases go unreported or even unrecognized as instances of child abuse. As Judge Voet points out, many victims of such abuse consider their mistreatment a normal part of growing up.

Tougher penalties for child labor violations could help reduce the number of children and teens hurt and killed by abusive and exploitative employers. Still, these measures are unlikely to become law anytime soon.

As the Economic Policy Institute study points out, seven bills that will weaken protections for children in workplaces have been introduced in six states. These include Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota.) Arkansas has repealed protections for 14-year-olds, and Minnesota allows teens to work on construction sites. These policies are in addition to already-lax investigations and enforcement of child labor laws, which rely on small fines such as that levied by Judge Voet in the criminal complaint against Daren Wilbur – and those fines are only applied to reported cases. Child labor fines can be calculated as a regular cost of doing business.

 

 

Related

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIn the smoky workshops of late 19th century America, a revolution was brewing. The Industrial Age, with its booming factories and powerful railroads, had brought both progress and hardship.The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIAM141.org 14...

Here’s the Difference Between Heat Stress, Exhaustion, and Stroke

Here’s the Difference Between Heat Stress, Exhaustion, and Stroke

Here’s the Difference Between Heat Stress, Exhaustion, and Stroke

IAM141.org

Heat-related injuries and sickness can often be hard to understand because the words used to describe them can be tricky. With hot weather warnings in the U.S., it’s crucial to understand terms like heat stress, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

Think about a hot day at the beach when the temperature is around 90°F. It feels great until you start doing something that makes your body work hard, like gardening, hiking, or running for the bus. This effort makes your body temperature go up. Your heart tries to help by sending more blood to your skin, where it cools down thanks to your sweat. But if you can’t sweat because you’re dehydrated, if the air is too humid for sweat to evaporate, or if it’s just too hot for your body to handle, you could get heat injuries or sickness.

If you feel that your work area is vulnerable to heat injuries, you can take action. File a safety report and help protect your coworkers.
+ File a Safety Report

Heat Stress

“Heat stress” is a term for any problem that happens when you’re active in hot weather. Symptoms like heat rash, cramps, dizziness, or fainting are signs that your body is having trouble cooling down. If you don’t do something about it, heat stress could turn into something more serious, like heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

If you’re suffering from heat stress, you should stop what you’re doing, find a cooler, shady place, and slowly drink water or clear juice. Cramps usually happen when your body has lost too much water and salts through sweating. Drinks like Gatorade or Pedialyte can help replace these, but avoid energy drinks since caffeine can cause dehydration. If the cramps don’t get better within an hour, or if you have heart problems or need to limit your salt intake, you should go to the clinic or see a doctor.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion happens when your body has lost too much water and salts because of sweating. You might feel sick, vomit, faint, slur your words, feel weak, get a headache, feel irritable, have clammy skin, and your body temperature might increase. If you get heat exhaustion many times, it can hurt your organs, especially your kidneys. Very bad heat exhaustion can cause muscle breakdown that can lead to heart rhythm problems, seizures, and damage to your kidneys.

If you or someone else has heat exhaustion, you should move to a cool place (with air conditioning if possible) and take small sips of cool liquids. Call 911 if you can’t get the person to a clinic or emergency room. Take off shoes, socks, and any tight or heavy clothes, and use water or cold compresses on the head, face, neck, and wrists.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the worst kind of heat sickness. It happens when your body can’t control its temperature and gets hotter than 104°F. You might stop sweating, and your body temperature can reach 108°F in just 10-15 minutes. Other symptoms can include passing out, having seizures, or acting strangely without quick medical help, which could include a cold IV drip; heat stroke can cause disability or death in a few hours.

Heat-related illnesses, such as heat stress, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, can be serious and life-threatening if not properly addressed. It’s crucial to stay hydrated, take breaks, and seek cool environments when spending time in the heat. Should symptoms of any heat-related illness appear, take immediate action and seek medical attention if necessary. Stay safe and informed during the hot weather, because understanding these conditions can make a significant difference in your health and well-being.

Remember, if you see anyone suffering from heat related injuries, it is important to file a GSAP, GSIP, or equivalent safety report as soon as it is safe to do so. GSAP and GSIP reports are non-punitive, and offer the best way to protect your work area from safety hazards such as heat-related injuries. 

+ File a Safety Report

Related News

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIn the smoky workshops of late 19th century America, a revolution was brewing. The Industrial Age, with its booming factories and powerful railroads, had brought both progress and hardship.The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIAM141.org 14...

Stay up to date with all the latest news and information from the Machinists Union

Here’s the Difference Between Heat Stress, Exhaustion, and Stroke

July 18, 2023

Heat-related injuries and sickness can often be hard to understand because the words used to describe them can be tricky. With hot weather warnings in the U.S., it’s crucial to understand terms like heat stress, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

Think about a hot day at the beach when the temperature is around 90°F. It feels great until you start doing something that makes your body work hard, like gardening, hiking, or running for the bus. This effort makes your body temperature go up. Your heart tries to help by sending more blood to your skin, where it cools down thanks to your sweat. But if you can’t sweat because you’re dehydrated, if the air is too humid for sweat to evaporate, or if it’s just too hot for your body to handle, you could get heat injuries or sickness.

If you feel that your work area is vulnerable to heat injuries, you can take action. File a safety report and help protect your coworkers.
+ File a Safety Report

Heat Stress

“Heat stress” is a term for any problem that happens when you’re active in hot weather. Symptoms like heat rash, cramps, dizziness, or fainting are signs that your body is having trouble cooling down. If you don’t do something about it, heat stress could turn into something more serious, like heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

If you’re suffering from heat stress, you should stop what you’re doing, find a cooler, shady place, and slowly drink water or clear juice. Cramps usually happen when your body has lost too much water and salts through sweating. Drinks like Gatorade or Pedialyte can help replace these, but avoid energy drinks since caffeine can cause dehydration. If the cramps don’t get better within an hour, or if you have heart problems or need to limit your salt intake, you should go to the clinic or see a doctor.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion happens when your body has lost too much water and salts because of sweating. You might feel sick, vomit, faint, slur your words, feel weak, get a headache, feel irritable, have clammy skin, and your body temperature might increase. If you get heat exhaustion many times, it can hurt your organs, especially your kidneys. Very bad heat exhaustion can cause muscle breakdown that can lead to heart rhythm problems, seizures, and damage to your kidneys.

If you or someone else has heat exhaustion, you should move to a cool place (with air conditioning if possible) and take small sips of cool liquids. Call 911 if you can’t get the person to a clinic or emergency room. Take off shoes, socks, and any tight or heavy clothes, and use water or cold compresses on the head, face, neck, and wrists.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the worst kind of heat sickness. It happens when your body can’t control its temperature and gets hotter than 104°F. You might stop sweating, and your body temperature can reach 108°F in just 10-15 minutes. Other symptoms can include passing out, having seizures, or acting strangely without quick medical help, which could include a cold IV drip; heat stroke can cause disability or death in a few hours.

Heat-related illnesses, such as heat stress, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, can be serious and life-threatening if not properly addressed. It’s crucial to stay hydrated, take breaks, and seek cool environments when spending time in the heat. Should symptoms of any heat-related illness appear, take immediate action and seek medical attention if necessary. Stay safe and informed during the hot weather, because understanding these conditions can make a significant difference in your health and well-being.

Remember, if you see anyone suffering from heat related injuries, it is important to file a GSAP, GSIP, or equivalent safety report as soon as it is safe to do so. GSAP and GSIP reports are non-punitive, and offer the best way to protect your work area from safety hazards such as heat-related injuries. 

+ File a Safety Report

Related

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIn the smoky workshops of late 19th century America, a revolution was brewing. The Industrial Age, with its booming factories and powerful railroads, had brought both progress and hardship.The Dawn of the Machinists UnionIAM141.org 14...