Every year dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill while working in extreme heat or humid conditions. There are a range of heat illnesses that can affect anyone, regardless of age or physical condition.
OSHA requires employers to provide workplaces free of known safety hazards, including protecting workers from extreme heat. Employers with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a complete heat illness prevention program.
- Provide workers with water, rest and shade.
- 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.
OSHA’s Occupational Exposure to Heat page explains what employers can do to keep workers safe and what workers need to know, including factors for heat illness, adapting to working in indoor and outdoor heat, recognizing symptoms, first aid training, resources for specific industries and OSHA workplace standards. Also look for heat illness educational and training materials on the OSHA Publications page.
OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool
Take precautions against outdoor heat while at work with the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool, with real-time heat index and hourly forecasts, specific to your location, and safety and health recommendations from OSHA and NIOSH.