WISHA Offers 5 Tips for Heat Stress Prevention

Starting work well hydrated is first on the list from the Washington Department of Labor & Industries, which takes care of enforcement for the state's outdoor heat exposure regulation. The rule was enacted in 2008.

Beating the heat with no adverse effects is possible by following five safety tips, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries reminded its stakeholders this week. With temperatures soaring in the state, L&I reminded them that state's outdoor heat exposure regulation has been in place since 2008.

Roofing, highway construction, and agricultural work are industries where workers are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses in warm weather, the agency noted. Its five tips for working outdoors in hot weather are:

1. Start work well hydrated and drink as much as a cup of water every 15 minutes.

2. Watch co-workers for signs of heat-related illness, such as headaches, dizziness or nausea.

3. Pace your work and take scheduled breaks.

4. Wear lightweight clothing and remove protective gear when it’s safe to do so.

5. Avoid drinking caffeine or eating a heavy meal.

The heat illness regulation requires employers with employees working outdoors to train the workers and their supervisors on the symptoms of heat-related illness and what to do if someone develops them, provide lots of water for workers, be able to respond appropriately to any employee with symptoms of illness, and include heat-related-illness hazards in the company's accident prevention program.

For more information, visit www.Lni.wa.gov/Safety/Topics/AtoZ/heatstress.

L&I's 21 statewide offices will be closed July 12 because the state legislature mandated closings for many agencies as a way to balance the state budget. Employers can call 800-423-7233 to report work-related fatalities or hospitalizations within eight hours of the event, as required, or to report dangerous working conditions that require immediate attention. L&I offices also will be closed Aug. 6.

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