During the summer months, heat related illnesses, specially heat stress, is a major concern for employees working outdoors or in environments that have radiant heat sources, high air temperatures and high humidity. Workers who come in direct physical contact with hot objects or perform strenuous physical activities must be specially careful.
High temperatures and humidity inhibits the body’s ability to cool itself. To reduce the risk of heat stress, OSHA recommends that employees:
- Know symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
- Block out direct sun and other heat sources
- Use cooling fans/air-conditioning
- Wear a wide-brim hat, cap or bandana, and sunglasses that block UV rays
- Rest regularly
- Drink plenty of cool water, about a cup every 15 minutes
The following OSHA resources offer tips and guidelines for preventing injury and illness while working in hot weather.
Additional training material (videos, safety meeting kits, booklets, and posters): Heat Stress Training & Safety