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Heat Safety For Outdoor Workers

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Even though we have not had the first official day of summer (June 20), we have already had some extremely high temperatures in the Midwest. With extreme heat, comes extreme illnesses and effects to the body. The most common illnesses are Heat Stroke, Heat Exhaustion, Heat Cramps and Heat Rash. In 2014 alone, 2630 workers suffered from heat illness and 18 died from heat stroke and related causes on the job. Thankfully, heat illnesses and deaths are preventable.

A few year ago, OSHA started the campaign Water. Rest. Shade.  This campaign covers all areas of precaution and safety for outdoor workers. Listed below are OSHA’s recommendations for prevention:

  • A Person Designated to Oversee the Heat Illness Prevention Program
  • Hazard Identification
  • Water. Rest. Shade Message
  • Acclimatization
  • Modified Work Schedules
  • Training
  • Monitoring for Signs and Symptoms
  • Emergency Planning and Response

Download the app! Android and Apple both have the app “Heat Safety Tool” free for download to your mobile device. This application will show you the temperature, heat index, type of risk, precautions recommended for your safety, and more! This is a great tool to have for employers and employees that work outside.

Click here for OSHA’s fact sheet on how to Protect Workers from the Effects of Heat. Click here for a printable Worksite Training Poster.


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