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NIOSH updates document on working in hot environments

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Cincinnati – NIOSH recently updated its 30-year-old document on hot work environments to better reflect the latest research and knowledge.

Published Feb. 29, the revised “Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Heat and Hot Environments” is intended to provide government agencies, stakeholder groups and employers with a critical review of scientific and technical information regarding the hazards of heat and hot work environments.

Although most of the recommendations are unchanged, the updated document incorporates data from the latest studies on the understanding of heat on the human body; new knowledge on factors that can increase a worker’s risk of heat-related illness, including one’s age, weight and sex; and the updated definition of heat stress.

To protect workers who are exposed to heat and hot environments, employers should implement an acclimatization plan, monitor workers and provide appropriate personal protective equipment, according to NIOSH.

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