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

Fall River Career Center fulfilling Amazon’s need for workers posted on Sep 7

Fall River Career Center fulfilling Amazon’s need for workers

FALL RIVER, MA, SEPTEMBER 7, 2016….When Amazon opens its new 1-million-square foot fulfillment center this month the online retailer will not be scrambling to hire new employees. The operation will be fully staffed with nearly 500 new hires recruited through the Fall River Career Center.   …Continue Reading Fall River Career Center fulfilling Amazon’s need for workers

YouthWorks Gives Teens Opportunities to Grow posted on Aug 10

YouthWorks Gives Teens Opportunities to Grow

BEVERLY, MA, AUGUST 1, 2016….. If 18-year-old Esmayle Gomez did not have a summer job planting crops at the Long Hill Farm in Beverly, through the YouthWorks program, he would most likely spend his days watching TV, playing on his phone, and eating junk food,   …Continue Reading YouthWorks Gives Teens Opportunities to Grow

WorkShare – A Smart Alternative to Layoffs posted on Jul 21

WorkShare – A Smart Alternative to Layoffs

All businesses go through slowdowns. Often that means layoffs, but that doesn’t have to be the answer. The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance, a department within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, can help a company keep valuable workers. WorkShare gives employers a   …Continue Reading WorkShare – A Smart Alternative to Layoffs