Under the OSH Act, employers must protect their employees from serious hazards in the workplace. This includes heat-related hazards and illnesses. The “heat index” provides a measure for estimating worker risk and takes in account both air temperature and humidity. OSHA recommends employers track the worksite heat index daily and communicate it and the required precautions to workers.
Click here to learn how to use the heat index to protect workers and link to a guide for employers on using the heat index.
It is also extremely important that employers are able to recognize signs of heat illness in employees and to be able to respond promptly and appropriately. The key is promptly. Workers should also be trained on how to recognize and prevent heat-related illnesses. Part 3 of the CDC Extreme Heat Prevention Guide provides useful information on dealing with hot weather emergencies. Learn the symptoms of heat disorders, overexposures to the sun and how to give first aid treatment for heat stroke, exhaustion, cramps, rash and sunburn.
Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Heat and Hot Environments, February 2016
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