Protecting Workers in High Heat Conditions

There are basic steps employers must take to ensure worker safety during the summer and periods of high heat which include:

  • Provide heat illness prevention training
  • Provide cool, fresh water and encourage workers to drink water frequently
  • Provide shaded areas for workers so they can cool down and take recovery breaks
  • Prepare an emergency heat illness prevention plan with specific illustration on recognizing symptoms of heat illness

In California, Cal/OSHA stresses the importance of acclimatization during months when the temperature soars.  This technique allows workers to gradually get used to the heat. According to Cal/OSHA’s Acting Chief Juliann Sum, “when temperatures spike, employers are required to make sure that workers have enough water, shade and rest, even if they don’t report any symptoms associated with heat illness. Preparation and easy access to water, rest and shade are the most effective ways to ensure that outdoor workers stay healthy”.

During high heat conditions Cal/OSHA goes out to inspect work-sites in industries such as agriculture, construction and landscaping. The main goal is to provide consultation, outreach and training on heat illness prevention, but they do enforce the regulations so Compliance Poster Company advises employers to take steps to prevent heat-related illnesses. CPC has a full line of products to reinforce training for workers who can be affected by high temperatures, in both outdoor and indoor conditions.

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