Keep Employees Safe in the Heat

The summer heat is on! Heat Safety awareness is emphasized even more during the summer months to all businesses with employees working in extremely warm conditions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created some tips on how to ensure safety against the heat, and to avoid heat illness:

  • Water, Rest, Shade: Employees need to drink water or sport beverages constantly throughout the day to stay hydrated, as well as, taking breaks in order to not overheat.
  • New workers on the job are most at risk: New employees are not acclimated to the harsh conditions, and will need time to build up a tolerance to the heat.
  • Heat illness can also affect indoor workers (e.g. Kitchens, laundries, warehouses, foundries, boiler rooms, etc.)
  • Use engineering controls or modify work practices to protect employees (e.g. increasing ventilation, using cooling fans, scheduling work at a cooler time of the day, and rotating job functions among workers to minimize heat exposure)
  • Familiarize all employees with the signs and symptoms of heat illness
    • Heat Exhaustion
      • dizziness
      • headaches
      • cramps
      • sweaty skin
      • nausea/vomiting
      • weakness
      • fast heartbeat.
    • Heatstroke symptoms
      • red, hot, dry skin
      • convulsions
      • fainting
      • very high temperature
      • confusion
  • Talk to employees about emergency heat illness situations: Pairing workers to look after each other to help prevent heat illness. If heat illness does occur, supervisors need to be informed and 911 needs to be called.
  • Download the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety App onto your smart phone: The app provides specific recommendations for planning work activities and preventing heat illness based on the estimated risk level where you are working.

For more detailed information and tips from the U.S. Department of Labor, click here.


If you or your company have questions or a legal matter related to employment or labor law issues, please contact Anderson Jones Attorneys by email or phone at (919) 277-2541.