Safety Tips Disease Heat stress Personal protective equipment Wellness Workplace exposure

Facial coverings and hot conditions: Help workers stay comfortable


People who work in hot, humid conditions may not like the idea of wearing a facial covering to decrease their risk of exposure to COVID-19. But it’s necessary. Help them stay comfortable while preventing the spread of illness by following these best practices from OSHA:

  • Prioritize the use of cloth face coverings when workers are in close contact with others (less than 6 feet), such as during group travel or shift meetings.
  • Acclimatize new and returning workers to environmental and work conditions while they wear cloth facial coverings.
  • Consider letting workers remove cloth facial coverings when they can safely maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.
  • Incorporate at least 6 feet of physical distancing into break areas by staggering breaks, spacing workers or limiting the number of workers on break at a time, where feasible.
  • Evaluate the feasibility of wearing cloth facial coverings for each worker and consider alternatives (e.g., faceshields) when appropriate.
  • Let workers return to personal vehicles during breaks to use air conditioning, when possible. Multiple workers shouldn’t return to the same car.
  • Increase the frequency of hydration and rest breaks in cooled environments.
  • Enhance ventilation throughout the worksite, including in break areas, where feasible.
  • Allow workers to wear personal passive cooling items (e.g., icepack vests, cooling bandanas) and loose-fitting and breathable clothes, as long as these items don’t present a safety hazard.

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