Protecting Employees at Work in a Heat Wave

According to the Center for Disease Control, heat was the number one weather-related killer in 2012.




According to the CDC, employers should take the following steps to protect workers from heat stress:

  • Schedule maintenance and repair jobs in hot areas for cooler months.
  • Schedule hot jobs for the cooler part of the day.
  • Acclimatize workers by exposing them for progressively longer periods to hot work environments.
  • Reduce the physical demands of workers.
  • Use relief workers or assign extra workers for physically demanding jobs.
  • Provide cool water or liquids to workers.
    • Avoid alcohol, and drinks with large amounts of caffeine or sugar.
  • Provide rest periods with water breaks.
  • Provide cool areas for use during break periods.
  • Monitor workers who are at risk of heat stress.
  • Provide heat stress training that includes information about:
    • Worker risk
    • Prevention
    • Symptoms
    • The importance of monitoring yourself and coworkers for symptoms
    • Treatment
    • Personal protective equipment

ABLE has prepared a colorful checklist to be distributed to employees to help them stay productive in hot times.  It is available free in English and Spanish.  Contact Dora or Joshua to get copies for your staff.

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