Preventing Heat-Related Illness in Outdoor Workers

Heat Illness can be deadly! Every year thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and unfortunately some even die. Heat illness is preventable. Employers are responsible for providing workplaces that are safe from excessive heat.

Employers should:

•    Establish a complete heat illness prevention program to prevent heat illness.
•    Gradually increase workloads and allow more frequent breaks for new workers or workers who have been on leave for a while.
•    Modify work schedules as necessary.
•    Plan for emergencies and train workers about symptoms of heat-related illnesses and their prevention.
•    Monitor workers for signs of illness.

There is only so much an employer can do for its employees. As an employee, you can prevent heat-related illness and fatalities by:

•    Drinking water every 15 minutes.
•    Rest in the shade to cool down.
•    Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
•    Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
•    Keep an eye on fellow workers.

Remember: Water, Rest Shade. It’s important to listen to your body and give yourself a break when necessary.

Learn more about heat-related illness.