WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWLP)– The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is warning both employees and employers of the dangers of working in extreme heat.
According to OSHA, thousands of workers become sick from heat exposure every year, and some instances are deadly.
Risk factors for heat illness among workers include heavy physical activity, warm or hot environmental conditions, lack of acclimatization, and wearing clothing that holds in body heat. Hazardous heat exposure happens both indoors or outdoors and during any season, not only during heat waves.
Illness from heat exposure is preventable and both workers and management should make efforts to keep everyone safe and recognize the symptoms. OSHA provides these prevention guidelines:
- Take extra precautions to protect new workers.
- Train supervisors and workers to control and recognize heat hazards.
- Determine, for each worker throughout each workday, whether total heat stress is too high, both from the conditions of that day and recognizing carryover effect possibilities.
- Implement engineering and administrative controls to reduce heat stress.
- Provide sufficient rest, shade, and fluids.
|Heat-Related Illness||Symptoms and Signs|
|Heat stroke||ConfusionSlurred speechUnconsciousnessSeizuresHeavy sweating or hot, dry skinVery high body temperatureRapid heart rate|
|Heat exhaustion||FatigueIrritabilityThirstNausea or vomitingDizziness or lightheadednessHeavy sweatingElevated body temperature or fast heart rate|
|Heat cramps||Muscle spasms or painUsually in legs, arms, or trunk|
|Heat rash||Clusters of red bumps on skinOften appears on neck, upper chest, and skin folds|
|Rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown)||Muscle painDark urine or reduced urine outputWeakness|