How Can I Protect My Workers From Heat Illness?

As the summer sun continues to warm up our temperatures, there are some precautions that employers should take to protect their workers from the heat. Without the proper precautions, excessively warm working conditions can lead to decreased productivity, increased accidents rates, illnesses, and even fatalities. Here are a few tips to help prevent heat illness on your job sites:

  • Create a Heat Illness Prevention Program. This program should focus on training your workers about the hazards that can cause heat stress and how to prevent them.

  • Provide a supply of cool water for workers. Keep the supply close to the work area and encourage employees to take frequent water and rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas.

  • As workers get more acclimated to the warmer weather, you can gradually increase workloads. However, continue to allow for frequent breaks for workers new to the heat.

  • Routinely check on workers who are at higher risk of heat stress due to their protective clothing, working in higher temperatures, or other similar factors.

For additional information, check out our Heat Illness loss control bulletin (PDF), or click here to view a heat illness article from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).