Post Content

Every year, thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and some even die. Heat illnesses and deaths are preventable. Employers are responsible for providing workplaces that are safe from excessive heat.

working in the heatThe body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating isn’t enough. Body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if precautions are not taken such as drinking water frequently and resting in the shade or air conditioning. Heat illnesses range from heat rash and heat cramps, to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention and can result in death.

Employers should establish a complete heat illness prevention program to prevent heat illness. This includes:

• Providing workers with water, rest and shade
• Gradually increasing workloads and allow more frequent breaks for new workers or workers who have been away for a week or more to build a tolerance for working in the heat (acclimatization)
• Modifying work schedules as necessary
• Planning for emergencies and train workers about the symptoms of heat related illnesses and their prevention
• Monitoring workers for signs of illness.

Take heat illness very seriously—it can be a matter of life and death. Workers die from heat stroke every summer and every death is preventable. When heat stroke doesn’t kill immediately, it can shut down major body organs causing acute heart, liver, kidney, and muscle damage, nervous system problems, and blood disorders. Having a serious injury or death occur at work affects everyone at a worksite. Also, workers suffering from heat exhaustion are at greater risk for accidents since they are less alert and can be confused.

Prevent heat illness by remembering these simple steps: WATER • REST • SHADE

For more information, visit: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/

Written By:


Manager of Safety/Health, Department of Labor Standards

Tags: ,

Recent Posts

Governor Baker and Secretary Walker highlight opportunity to revamp workforce system posted on Jun 23

Governor Baker and Secretary Walker highlight opportunity to revamp workforce system

WORCESTER, MA, JUNE 19, 2015…The federal government has given states new flexibility to design their own workforce development systems, which gives Massachusetts the ability to customize skill-building programs in regions around the state, Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday. Gov. Baker met with a group of   …Continue Reading Governor Baker and Secretary Walker highlight opportunity to revamp workforce system

New Director of Labor Standards posted on Jun 5

New Director of Labor Standards

The Department of Labor Standards welcomed its new director this week, Bill McKinney. McKinney brings extensive experience in state government, having worked in senior leadership roles. He served as the last commissioner of the former Metropolitan District Commission, which is now a part of the   …Continue Reading New Director of Labor Standards

New state-of-the-art Career Center opening in Boston on April 21. posted on Apr 15

New state-of-the-art Career Center opening in Boston on April 21.

A new state-of-the-art career center – CareerSolution – will open in Boston on Tuesday, April 21.