By: Kathleen Murray, Capstone Brokerage Client Advocate, July 29, 2016

Some workers who are at risk for heat exhaustion are landscapers, firefighters, bakery workers, farmers, construction workers, miners, boiler room workers, lifeguards, security guards, or any one exposed to extreme heat, humidity and sun conditions during the work hours. Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for providing work places free of known safety hazards which include protecting workers from extreme heat. An employer with workers exposed to heat and humidity should provide training to establish a heat illness prevention program.

Know the signs of Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion:

Summertime weather is extremely hot; you are thirsty, feeling lightheaded, nauseated and tired. The heat is suffocating. All you want is to get out of the heat, get into the shade or an air conditioned place to cool down. However, the dizziness does not subside, the nausea does not go away, and you have a throbbing headache. What you might be experiencing is heat stroke. Heat stroke begins with heat exhaustion. Heat stroke occurs when the body temperature is above 103 degrees. It can happen in
as little as 10-15 minutes and humidity makes it worse.

It is important to take more care to hydrate and drink fluids and protect yourself from the sun when outdoors. When heat exhaustion escalates to heat stroke, you need to call 9-1-1- immediately.

Heat Exhaustion/Heat Stroke: What are the differences?
Heat stroke symptoms include rapid heart rate, severe headache, lack of sweat, rapid, strong pulse and severe disorientation.
Heat Exhaustion will start with extremely hot skin, or cool, pale, clammy skin, headache, dizziness nausea and weakness.

Requirments for employers to provide safe working enviroment for their employees:

 OSHA’s recommendations as contained in a
Complete Guide for Employers to Carry Out Heat Safety
Training for Workers are:
 Drink Water every 15 minutes, even if you are not
thirsty
 Provide workers with water, rest and shade
 Wear a hat and light-colored clothing
 Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an
emergency
 Keep an eye on fellow workers for signs of illness
 “Easy does it” on your first days of work in the heat
 Working in full sunlight can increase heat index
values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep this in mind and
plan additional precautions such as sunscreen and
sunglasses when working in these conditions

OSHA’s printable, safety plan on Heat Illness Prevention Guide for Employers