Outdoor and indoor heat exposure can be dangerous. Here are ways to protect yourself and others.
- Ease into Work. Nearly 3 out of 4 fatalities from heat illness happen during the first week of work.
- New and returning workers need to build tolerance to heat (acclimatize) and take frequent breaks.
- Follow the 20% Rule. On the first day, work no more than 20% of the shift’s duration at full intensity in the heat. Increase the duration of time at full intensity by no more than 20% a day until workers are used to working in the heat.
- Drink Cool Water. Drink cool water even if you are not thirsty — at least 1 cup every 20 minutes.
- Take Rest Breaks. Take enough time to recover from the heat given the
temperature, humidity, and conditions.
- Find Shade or a Cool Area. Take breaks in a designated shady or cool location.
- Dress for the Heat. Wear a hat and light-colored, loose-fitting, and breathable clothing if possible.
- Watch Out for Each Other. Monitor yourself and others for signs of heat illness.
- If Wearing a Face Covering. Change your face covering if it gets wet or soiled. Verbally check on others frequently
First Aid for Heat Illness
The following are signs of a medical emergency!
- Abnormal thinking or behavior
- Slurred speech
- Loss of consciousness
Should this happen to you or others:
- CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY
- COOL THE WORKER RIGHT AWAY WITH WATER OR ICE
- STAY WITH THE WORKER UNTIL HELP ARRIVES
Watch for any other signs of heat illness and act quickly. When in doubt, call 911
If a worker experiences:
- Headache or nausea
- Weakness or dizziness
- Heavy sweating or hot, dry skin
- Elevated body temperature
- Decreased urine output
Take these actions:
- Give water to drink
- Remove unnecessary clothing
- Move to a cooler area
- Cool with water, ice, or a fan
- Do not leave alone
- Seek medical care if needed
For more information: call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) | TTY 1-877-889-5627 or visit www.osha.gov/heat