OSHA’s summer heat safety campaign begins

Agency provides tips to prevent heat-related illnesses, fatalities

Posted June 3, 2016

OSHA has kicked off its summer campaign to inform employers and employees about the dangers of working in the heat. The campaign will continue its annual outreach to highlight how heat-related worker fatalities are entirely preventable. In 2014 alone, 2,630 workers suffered from heat illness and 18 died from heat stroke and related causes on the job.

Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards. This includes protecting workers from extreme heat. An employer with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a complete heat illness prevention program.

OSHA has provided heat safety tips for workers in an updated heat campaign webpage that now includes illustrations of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, an animated video, training resources, and links to an updated heat safety phone app. #WaterRestShade is the official hashtag of the campaign, encouraging employers to provide their workers with drinking water, ample breaks, and a shaded area while working outdoors.

OSHA’s webpage also includes the following tips for employers:

  • Allow new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as they acclimatize, or build a tolerance for working in the heat.
  • Plan for emergencies and train workers on prevention.
  • Monitor workers for signs of illness.

Everyday OSHA Safety & Health Management ManualJ. J. Keller's Everyday OSHA Safety & Health Management Manual provides "how-to" guidance and tools on a wide range of workplace health and safety issues.


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