In the midst of the construction industry’s national Safety Week campaign, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA) is emphasizing its concerted efforts on heat stress policy and mental health awareness.

SMACNA offers a free helpline for workers and their families, along with a federal 988 suicide crisis lifeline. It’s also put together heat safety resources from members into a “sample guideline” for heat stress policy – work that’s spread throughout the sheet metal and HVAC contractor industry to promote lower injury rates.

As OSHA prepares to institute new regulations to protect workers against heat stress-related injuries – which injure thousands every year – SMACNA is putting itself forward to regulators as a resource.

“As extreme, hot temperatures become more frequent, SMACNA is working to encourage legislative change at the federal and state level to allow construction workers better access to water, rest and shade,” said Justin Crandol, director of safety at SMACNA.

Crandol sat down for an interview with SNIPS NEWS Safety Contributor Mike McCullion to discuss these issues in detail on a podcast. McCullion served in Crandol’s role for several years before retiring and contributing to SNIPS NEWS.

“We do talk to members every day on how they handle heat stress. And what they do varies from Florida to California to Michigan to Washington,” Crandol said. “So it's not necessarily one size fits all. But they all have similar goals, controls and ways of doing it – which gets back to water, rest and shade.”

Crandol highlighted SMACNA safety award winner W. Soule & Co. for having developed “Crew Minders,” a safety text reminder service that cut their lost-time and auto incidents by half.

“We’re always looking for the next big thing, whether it’s technology or just a great idea,” Crandol concluded.

Listen to the podcast below.