How to Beat the Heat and Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses
Summer is in full force and with it comes the risk of heat-related illnesses and injuries for workers. Heat stress can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and even death. It can also affect productivity, performance, and morale. Therefore, it is important to take preventive measures to protect workers from the effects of extreme heat.
Here are some workplace safety tips for handling heat in the summer:
- Provide adequate water and electrolyte drinks for workers and encourage them to drink frequently.
- Provide shaded or air-conditioned areas for workers to rest and cool down.
- Adjust work schedules to avoid the hottest part of the day or reduce the workload during peak heat hours.
- Provide appropriate clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers that are breathable, light-colored, and loose-fitting.
- Train workers on the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses and how to respond to them.
- Monitor workers for signs of heat stress and intervene promptly if needed.
- Implement a buddy system or a check-in system to ensure workers are accounted for and monitored.
- Educate workers on the risk factors and prevention strategies for heat-related illnesses and injuries.
- Review and update your emergency plan and procedures for heat emergencies.
Every year, dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill while working in hot or humid conditions. The OSHA Heat Illness Prevention campaign educates employers and workers on the dangers of working in the heat. Learn more.
By following these workplace safety tips, you can help your workers and your business cope with the extreme heat in the summer and prevent serious health consequences.
Staying Safe At Work
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services created this video about the dangers of heat, and the best ways to stay cool and safe as temperatures rise.
For more information about workplace safety, please see the ABR Employee Handbook. If you are unable to locate your Employee Handbook, please contact any ABR representative to request a copy.