The Telcom team is dedicated to providing your business with protection, no matter if your office is a cubicle or a jobsite. This month, we’ve included some helpful articles, including tips to help protect your crew from the heat and all of your employees from cyberattacks in their email inbox. Read on to learn more!
Hot Weather Safety: Employer Responsibility

While there are several organizations that provide information about safety, such as the National Safety Council, the American Society of Safety Engineers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, etc. Only one of them, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has regulatory power for citations. OSHA also mandates employer responsibilities.

According to OSHA, which begins with a simple statement: Under the OSH Act, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety and health hazards. This includes protecting workers from heat-related hazards.
Here is a quick breakdown:

Planning. Create a plan and consider the following: Who will oversee the job site daily for heat-related activity? How will you allow workers to acclimatize themselves and how will you allow for more supervision to watch the new employees? How do you ensure first aid equipment will be provided and where will you locate it? How much time will you allow employees returning from vacations or extended periods of time off to re-acclimate to the stresses of a hot environment? What engineering controls do you plan to employ to combat the heat? Do you have a way to measure heat stress and a way to determine when the heat becomes hazardous? How will you gather information about daily high temperatures, heat indexes, and storm activity? What training will you provide to your employees to combat heat-related illness on the job?

Supervision. Having someone on location to be responsible for your heat plan can be a critical safeguard in the prevention of heat-related illnesses. It is common, according to OSHA, to utilize a foreman, supervisor, OS plant manager, safety representative, or anyone you’ve trained to fill this role. Areas to consider training for this position would be:
If someone cannot be at all locations, which is understandable, you should train all employees on the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses and monitor each other. You should also devise a method of immediate information sharing to supervisors so your plan can be activated, even remotely.

Prevention. This is always the key when it comes to hazard exposure. Several things are in play that create occupational heat stress exposures to workers. Consider the following: Sequential days of high heat, high humidity, sunlight, and airspeed (wind). You must also be mindful of external factors such as heat-producing equipment, like generators, welding operations, and exhaust.

The level of activity expected of the employee while in this environment and the type of clothing and personal protective equipment the employee must wear has to be evaluated as contributing key factors. Also, consider any risk factors each individual employee may possess such as heart issues, diabetes, drug and/or alcohol use, prior heat-related illnesses, medications, age, and experience in that work environment.

OSHA’s General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) states employers are required to provide their employees with a place of employment that "is free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employees.” This is the federal standard by which heat-related illnesses would most likely be cited under Federal OSHA. However, there are three states, California, Minnesota, and Washington that have specific OSHA-Approved State Plans with their own standards to abide by regarding heat. If these are your states, please see your state’s specific plan and learn the threshold temperature required to enact your plan.

This summer has already shown itself to be gearing up for severe weather. By mid-June horrible tornadoes and very high heat have already been present. Unfortunately, with these weather events, injuries and fatalities have already both been reported. Let this be a reminder to take high heat seriously and look after your employees and contractors working.

Working in the heat is no joke and it can be life threatening. Make sure your contractors have a plan for heat safety and that they train their employees. Provide water, rest, and shade, allow for acclimatization, create a plan of action, and monitor each other. Plan, supervise, and prevent. It’s a good idea to ask them to document the training and give you a copy so that you know it’s been done. Stay safe out there and look after one another.

OSHA advises employers to create a heat-illness prevention plan and gives guidelines to get employers started. This full plan can be found at
The ABCs of BEC Attacks

Content sourced from Great American Insurance Group Article on the subject.

Business email compromises, or BECs, are targeted attacks on business emails that use tactics to make employees believe the malicious email came from a trusted colleague. BEC attackers typically pose as someone in authority, making the email seemingly important.
BEC attacks have become easier to identify, as they usually contain spelling errors or poor grammar. But with the increased usage of AI these days, these attacks are becoming more complex, believable, and frequent.
If you receive an email like this, remember to be cautious. It’s best to make a phone call to the employee who the email appears to be from and verify the request. Always report suspicious activity and help protect your organization from attackers.
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