Working in hot conditions can be uncomfortable— or even deadly. Each year, dozens of workers die and more become ill when working on the job in high-temperature situations. This includes people who are outside working in hot weather conditions as well as those who work indoors in warm facilities.
In 2018, there were more fatalities from heat exposure than natural disasters or weather such as lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes, and cold weather in total, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
It is important for employees and supervisors to be alert and on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion in each other.
Symptoms to monitor:
- Heavy sweating
There is a greater risk to those workers who are above 65 and have underlying conditions such as heart disease, are overweight, have high blood pressure, and or take medications that could be affected by working prolonged hours in hot environments. (OHSA)
Ways You Can Protect Your Employees:
Give workers breaks throughout the day if there is extensive sun exposure or heat exhaustion
Look for signs of illness and monitor employees' symptoms
Provide workers with training on the effects of heat exposure and illness to prevent it
Ensure that workers are provided with enough shade and water throughout the workday
Using the heat index which compares heat disorders acclimated by prolonged exposure or excessive activity in the heat and humidity in the area.
Helpful Reminder to Those With Children and or Pets
Outside of the workplace, it is vital to make sure that children or pets are never left in a hot car unattended.