Protecting workers from the heat
Working in a hot environment can present a number of hazards to workers far beyond simple discomfort. Those working outdoors in the summer – or working indoors in hot environments such as bakeries, laundries and manufacturing plants – can be at risk of a number of heat-induced disorders. Workers who are in poor health or unaccustomed to working in the heat are most highly susceptible.
To prevent heat-related illnesses, California OSHA offers the following tips:
- Drink cool, fresh water throughout the day, averaging about 24 ounces per hour. Do not wait until you feel thirsty to drink.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or other beverages with high levels of sugar or caffeine.
- Know how to call for help throughout the day if needed. Keep an eye on your co-workers, watching for signs of heat illnesses.
- If you feel yourself beginning to overheat, tell your supervisor. Rehydrate and go indoors, or find a cool, shaded area to rest.