OSHA’s 4 tips for hot weather safety


For many, waking up to a beautiful sunny summer day is a cause for joy. However, for construction professionals and others that primarily work long hours outdoors, a hot day can be more than just a challenge: It can be a threat to their health.

Outdoor workers at risk for heat-related illnesses need to be trained on the proper safety precautions, preferably in the spring months, as this gives time for workers to adjust to the warmer weather and build good safety habits. However, it is never too late to take steps to avoid heat-related ailments, and there is no time like the present.

While OSHA lacks a specific standard on working in hot environments, there are some tips the agency wants workers to be aware of, especially those unused to working outside. According to the agency, in almost half of the reported cases of heat-related illness, the worker involved was on their first day of work and in 80 percent of the cases, the worker involved had only been on the job for four or fewer days.

Here are some tips to working safely outdoors in the heat:

  1. Employers should provide ample cool, fresh water at no charge.
  2. Sufficient shade to protect all workers should be provided when temperatures rise above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Employees should be encouraged to rest as they feel necessary, and all active workers should take a cool-down rest every two hours.
  4. All employees should be trained about heat-illness prevention, as well as be able to recognize the symptoms in others.

Team leaders can also hold meetings before each shift to go over key points. However, if a worker does succumb to the heat despite these efforts, teams need to be able to collect relevant incident data. If you're interested in learning how IndustrySafe's environmental, health and safety management software can help your company toward this end, contact us today or visit our website.


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