OSHA’s message is simple: Water. Rest. Shade. Employers should encourage workers to drink water every 15 minutes, and take frequent rest breaks in shaded areas. Employers should:
- Encourage workers to drink water every 15 minutes; and take frequent rest breaks in the shade to cool down;
- Develop an emergency plan that explains what to do when a worker shows signs of heat-related illness;
- Train workers on the hazards of heat exposure, and how to prevent illness; and
- Allow workers to build a tolerance for working in heat.
The OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool is a free, downloadable app that calculates a worksite’s heat index and displays the associated risk levels. Users can receive precautionary recommendations specific to heat index risk levels to help protect employees from heat-related illness. The tool is available in English and Spanish.
OSHA’s Occupational Heat Exposure page explains the symptoms of heat illness, first aid measures to provide while waiting for help, engineering controls and work practices to reduce workers’ exposure to heat, and training. Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman 1.973.696.7900 firstname.lastname@example.org has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.