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

MA Minimum Wage is $9.00/hour January 1, 2015 posted on Dec 15

MA Minimum Wage is $9.00/hour January 1, 2015

Massachusetts enacted the first state minimum wage law over 100 years ago on June 4, 1912. Thanks to the efforts of many committed individuals, businesses, and elected leaders at every level including the Governor, we have reason to celebrate again the Commonwealth’s lead when it comes to fair treatment of workers. Massachusetts now has the highest enacted state minimum wage set for $11.00 on January 1, 2017.

U.S. Renews Agreement to Help MA Combat Underground Economy posted on Nov 28

U.S. Renews Agreement to Help MA Combat Underground Economy

US Labor Secretary Tom Perez has renewed a three year agreement to help Massachusetts recover unpaid wages, back taxes unemployment insurance premiums, fines and penalties from employers who engage in fraudulent labor practices like misclassifying workers. The initiative commits the Department of Labor and the IRS to work with the Massachusetts Joint Task Force on the Underground Economy (JTF) which, since its inception, has collected nearly $56 million from unscrupulous businesses.

New Customer Service Feature: What Claimants and Employers Are Saying about UI Online posted on Nov 25

New Customer Service Feature: What Claimants and Employers Are Saying about UI Online

A year after launching its web based Unemployment Insurance system “UI Online”, the Department of Unemployment Services (DUA) embarked on an ambitious customer service initiative to solicit feedback from claimants and employers who used the new technology. UI is a critical safety net for someone   …Continue Reading New Customer Service Feature: What Claimants and Employers Are Saying about UI Online