Heat and humidity ...

a recipe for heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Do you have a plan for your outdoor workers?

Outdoor workers are more than just construction workers. They work in the fields and agricultural jobs, they’re baggage handlers, landscapers, electrical/power/utilities workers, foresters, groundskeepers, painters, mechanics … and the list goes on.

Outdoor workers include anyone who spends a substantial portion of their shift outdoors putting them at risk of heat-related illnesses when the heat index is high.

Industries most affected include:
• Construction
• Trades
• Transportation
• Utilities
• Agriculture
• Groundskeepers
• Landscaping services
• Oil & gas operations

Are your outdoor workers prepared? Do they know the signs and symptoms? Do they know what to do to keep their risk low? Are worksite supervisors aware of when extra precautions may need to be put in place?

Who is most susceptible to heat-related illnesses?
• Workers new to outdoor jobs
• Workers who lack tolerance to hot conditions
• Temporary workers
• Workers returning after an extended absence

Additional risk factors to be aware of include:
• Working in direct sunlight
• Performing prolonged and/or strenuous work
• Wearing bulky protective clothing or equipment

Heat-related illnesses can be prevented.

Worker suffering from heat
  • Water, rest and shade are your best defense.
  • Build up a tolerance for working in the heat, gradually.
  • Know the signs of heat-related illnesses.
  • Know what to do if a worker shows signs.

Share these OSHA resources with your worksite supervisors and workers.

When you need OSHA or workplace training, let me help you put safety first.

This blog, originally posted May 24, 2012, has been updated with additional sources and information.