Heat Stress – Protecting Workers

Safety University Topic of the Month: Protecting Workers from Heat Stress


The summer heat is great for lounging around at the beach or taking a dip in the pool, but in some cases prolonged exposure to heat can cause illness and death. OSHA tell us of certain precautions that can be taken any time temperatures are high and the job involves physical work.

Symptoms of heat related illnesses

  • Headache, dizziness, or fainting 
  • Weakness and wet skin 
  • Irritability or confusion
  • Thirst, nausea, or vomiting
  • Confusion, pass out, collapse, or seizure

How to Protect Workers from heat illnesses

  • Know signs/symptoms of heat illnesses; monitor yourself; use a buddy system.
  • Block out direct sun and other heat sources.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Drink often and BEFORE you are thirsty. Drink water every 15 minutes.
  • Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
  • Wear lightweight, light colored, loose-fitting clothes

When in doubt take a break to cool off and make sure you stay hydrated. If you’re feeling any symptoms of heat stress be sure to tell your supervisor ASAP. Remember these simple tips and working in the heat should be no sweat. Remember safety is no accident.

Want more safety tips? Visit our Safety University page: https://interstatewaste.com/safety-university-at-iws/