While inspecting a potential leak from a condensate line, an unnamed roofer in Hillsboro, Ore., collapsed from heat stress June 28—the hottest day on record in the state, reaching 116 F. He later died in the hospital from heat stress.
The worker’s death is one of four heat-related fatalities currently being investigated by Oregon OSHA.
Working in a region less accustomed to massive heat spikes can be more dangerous; the Pacific Northwest heatwave caused up to 100 deaths in Oregon. Oregon OSHA received 219 heat-related complaints from June 24 to July 2. In 2020, the department received 2,000 complaints all year.
Max Gottfried, environmental health and safety manager at Rosendin Electric, said workers who are not acclimated to the heat can succumb to heat-related illness more easily and emphasized it is vital to be vigilant and train workers to look out for each other.
The investigation into the roofing worker’s death is expected to take four to five months.
NRCA offers members a sample Heat Illness Prevention Program, as well as heat-related training resources to help keep workers safe.