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What are the ‘building blocks’ of a heat stress prevention program?


Photo: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Washington — A new resource from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is intended to help employers identify and implement steps to protect workers from heat stress.

The Building Blocks for a Heat Stress Prevention Training Program is organized into five sections (with checklists) and an appendix. The sections cover:

  • How to determine heat stress
  • What training, approaches and resources are needed for a heat stress management program
  • How heat is controlled in the workplace
  • What makes heat stress worse?
  • Approaches to ensure workers’ rights

The appendix features two tables from the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists on threshold limit values and action limit values for heat stress.

“This is a useful resource for identifying and implementing steps needed to reduce the risk of heat stress for workers in indoor and outdoor environments,” NIEHS says. “Workers involved in disaster response and recovery, construction, transportation, agriculture, and many other jobs are vulnerable to the impacts of heat stress.”

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