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Workplace Strategies for Hot Weather Safety

June 16, 2021 Updated: June 17, 2021

With summer almost here and temperatures rising, many workers face additional heat-related risks. If you are one of these many hard working men and women, you deserve to know you’ll be safe when you go to work.

Train all management and hourly employees with an emphasis on how to recognize a medical emergency (heat stroke).

The protocol for all shifts should include information about who is authorized to call an ambulance, how to call for an ambulance, and what to do while waiting for emergency medical care. 

This protocol should be translated into the commonly spoken languages in the facility and posted throughout the workplace.

This is important because some workers hold back on drinking water so that they can putoff using the restroom. This is never a good idea and can have serious consequences during hot weather.

This should be done with a device that measures both heat and humidity and combines these measurements to provide the Heat Index. 

Employers should have a plan for additional rest breaks or means of cooling the work area whenever the heat index approaches the Extreme Caution zone.

Table Source: OSHA

During their first two weeks they should be monitored for signs of heat illness and provided extra breaks until they have adjusted to the heat.

Workers should be encouraged to wear cloth face masks that are made out of breathable, moisture-wicking materials to stop the spread of COVID-19, and allowed to change wet face masks because it can be difficult to breath. Workers should also be allowed to remove face masks when they can safely maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from others.* 

*CDC mask guidelines are subject to change at any given time and mask usage/enforcement are at discretion of employers and/or line of work.