Workers need plenty of fluids when working in the heat.

Toiling in the Heat: OSHA Offers Safety Tips

Depending on where you live and work, the hot, hazy days of summer are either already here in all their sweltering glory, or they're fast approaching. OSHA wants to remind everyone that the heat can be especially harmful for those who work outdoors in direct sunlight or in hot environments, making them susceptible to heat-induced illnesses such as heat stress, heat exhaustion, or the more serious heat stroke.

"Working in extreme temperatures is not only uncomfortable, it can be life-threatening," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. "As we move into the summer months, it is important for workers and their employers to minimize the chances of heat-induced illnesses, and imperative that they recognize the signs of heat stress and take proper precautions to reduce the chances of illness or death."

High temperature and humidity, physical exertion and lack of sufficient water intake can lead to heat-related stress. Symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke include confusion, irrational behavior, loss of consciousness, abnormally high body temperature, and hot, dry skin.

OSHA advises workers to take preventive measures such as reducing physical exertion and wearing light, loose-fitting clothing. The agency advises employers to provide workers with water and regular rest periods in a cool recovery area.

Through fact sheets such as Protecting Workers from the Effects of Heat and Working Outdoors in Warm Climates, the agency explains heat stress phenomena and provides recommendations to protect workers from exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Employers and workers will find more practical tips for guarding against UV radiation in Protecting Yourself in the Sun, a pocket-sized card addressing various forms of skin cancer. These publications are free and can be downloaded from OSHA's Publications page.

Download Center

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2021

    October 2021

    Featuring:

    • TRAINING
      On Route To Safe Material Handling
    • SAFETY CULTURE
      Normalization of Deviations in Performance
    • IH:INDOOR AIR QUALITY
      Arresting Fugitive Dusts
    • PPE:FOOT PROTECTION
      Safety Shoes Make the Outfit for Well-Protected Workers
    View This Issue