Resources Heat stress Guidance

OSHA launches annual heat illness prevention campaign

Washington – Outdoor workers need to get plenty of water, rest and shade this summer, OSHA is reminding employers as part of the agency’s annual heat illness prevention campaign.

Launched May 22, the fourth annual campaign seeks to raise awareness and educate employers and employees about how working in hot weather without appropriate precautions can be dangerous, and even deadly.

According to OSHA, 31 workers died because of heat and more than 4,000 suffered heat-related illnesses in 2012 – the most recent data available. Labor-intensive activities in outdoor industries such as agriculture or construction can increase body temperatures, leading to heat rash or heat cramps before escalating to heat exhaustion or heat stroke, OSHA warns.

The agency is offering a variety of educational materials in both English and Spanish, as well as a free mobile app to help workers and supervisors monitor the heat index at worksites.

Many of OSHA’s heat illness prevention resources were adapted from materials created by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, which launched its annual campaign in March.