Federal agencies Heat stress Construction

OSHA campaign aims to help outdoor workers beat the heat

worker drinking water

Photo: OSHA

Washington – OSHA has launched its annual summertime campaign intended to inform employers and employees about the dangers of working in hot weather.

New workers who have not acclimatized to the heat are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, according to Kelly Schnapp, director of OSHA’s Office of Science and Technology Assessment. During a May 26 webinar hosted by the White House, Schnapp said a majority of recent heat-related deaths investigated by the agency involved workers who were on the job for three days or less. In 2014, heat-related illnesses sickened more than 2,600 workers and caused 18 fatalities in the United States.

OSHA offers the following tips to help prevent heat-related illnesses and fatalities:

  • Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Take rest breaks in the shade to cool down.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored attire.
  • Know the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
  • Observe fellow workers for any signs of problems.
  • Adopt an “easy does it” approach on the first few days of work in the heat as your body acclimatizes.


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