Water, Rest and Shade: OSHA to Educate Workers, Employers about Heat-Related Illnesses

May 10, 2011
Three ingredients can help save employees working in hot environments from suffering potentially life-threatening heat-related illness: water, rest and shade. OSHA plans to get that message out in a new heat illness education campaign.

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced that OSHA is launching this national outreach initiative to educate workers and their employers about the hazards of working outdoors in the heat, as well as steps they can take to prevent heat-related illnesses.

“If you’re working outdoors, you’re at risk for heat-related illnesses that can cause serious medical problems and even death,” said Solis. “But heat illness can be prevented. This Labor Department campaign will reach across the country with a very simple message – water, rest and shade.”

Heat can be a hazard for workers in jobs ranging from agriculture and landscaping to construction, road repair, airport baggage handling and even car sales.

Hot Topic

Each year, thousands of outdoor workers experience heat illness, which often manifests as heat exhaustion. If not quickly addressed, heat exhaustion can become heat stroke, which killed more than 30 workers last year.

“As we move into the summer months, it is very important for workers and employers to take the steps necessary to stay safe in extreme heat,” said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. “Drinking water often, taking breaks and limiting time in the heat are simple, effective ways to prevent heat illness.”

OSHA has developed heat illness educational materials in English and Spanish; a curriculum to be used for workplace training; and a Web page providing heat illness information, resources, preventative strategies and actions to take during an emergency.

Federal OSHA has worked closely with the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration to adapt materials from that state’s outreach campaign on heat illness for use in this national effort. In addition, OSHA is now partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on weather service alerts that will incorporate worker safety precautions when heat alerts are issued across the nation.

Finally, OSHA will foster relationships with other state and local partners, employers, trade organizations, unions, community groups, educational institutions and health care professionals to disseminate training materials and to educate workers and employers on preventing heat-related illnesses.

Sponsored Recommendations

Case Study: Harmon Inc reduces incident rate from 4.6 to 1.0 with EHS platform

May 29, 2024
HSI’s Safety Management System (SMS) helps Harmon reduce incident rate via improved tracking and reporting, and standardized training

6 Steps to Build Leadership Buy-In for EHS Technology

May 29, 2024
In this white paper, 6 Steps to Build Leadership Buy-In for EHS Technology we take a dive into what matters to provide training solutions that make a difference. Learn more today...

Fall Prevention or Fall Protection? 5 Things to Consider

May 24, 2024
When determining the best way to protect a worker from the hazards of working at height, it’s important to consider fall prevention before fall protection.

What Is a Battery Energy Storage System and What Are the Workplace Risks?

May 24, 2024
The use of lithium-ion batteries is on the rise. These battery energy storage systems come with many benefits, but it’s critical to understand the risks.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!