7 Ways Safety Leaders Beat the Heat
344 people died of heat-related illness in the workplace from 2011—2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Environmental heat cases also accounted for about 2,700 cases involving days away from work per year during that time.1
Heat illness, heat stress, and related conditions are largely preventable—here are 7 ways safety leaders protect their workers from such illnesses.
7 Heat Illness Prevention Tips for Employers
Allow workers to acclimate to the heat.
New employees and employees returning to work after a vacation or absence need time to condition their bodies to the warm or hot working environment. These employees are more susceptible to heat-related illness and exhaustion, statistics show.
Provide rest and shade.
Human bodies need time to cool throughout the day. Employees should be encouraged to take breaks in shaded or air conditioned areas to help regulate their internal body temperature throughout the day. If there is no shade at the work location, the employer may engineer some shade by using a tent, tarp, or structure to block sunlight.
Modify work schedules, if needed.
Your workers may need a shorter, earlier workday with more frequent breaks. Work in an air-conditioned building when possible.
Provide workers with water.
OSHA has suggested that workers drink water every 15 minutes. It may be too late to hydrate once the body has used up all its water, so don’t wait until you’re thirsty.
Train employees on symptoms and prevention, and plan for emergencies
Workers should be able to identify when they or their coworkers are exhibiting symptoms like flushed faces or light-headedness. Catching heat illness early can help it from becoming more serious.
Monitor workers for illness
Employers need to be proactive and watch their workers. Recognizing heat exhaustion early may be the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Don't forget about indoor workers.
Outdoor workers battle heat-related hazards when it is warm. Indoor workers fight the heat year-round in industrial kitchens, on manufacturing floors, and in warehouses.
1. OSHA Memo, Inspection Guidance for Heat-related Hazards, September 2021.
Protect Your Workers from Heat Hazards
The signs of heat-related illnesses may seem obvious. However, the symptoms can mimic numerous other, much less serious conditions. Don’t leave your team’s safety to chance! Lion’s Heat Illness Prevention – Supervisors course prepares supervisors to recognize and protect their teams from the effects of heat stress, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion, among other injuries and illness associated with heat. The course is available online, so you can learn at your own pace and earn useful resources you can save, print, and keep.
Find a Post
I like the consistency of Lion workshops. The materials are well put together and instructors are top notch!
Permitting, Compliance & Environmental Manager
This was the 1st instructor that has made the topic actually enjoyable and easy to follow and understand. Far better than the "other" training providers our company has attended!
Process & Resource Administrator
The course was very well structured and covered the material in a clear, concise manner.
Hazmat Shipping Professional
These are the best classes I attend each year. I always take something away and implement improvements at my sites.
I can take what I learned in this workshop and apply it to everyday work and relate it to my activities.
The instructor took a rather drab set of topics and brought them to life with realistic real-life examples.
The instructor kept the class engaged and made learning fun. There was a lot of information to cover but time flew by. I will definitely use Lion in the future!
Hazmat Shipping Professional
Very witty instructor, made the long times sitting bearable. One of the few training courses I can say I actually enjoyed.
Senior EHS Engineer
Excellent job. Made what is very dry material interesting. Thoroughly explained all topics in easy-to-understand terms.
The instructor was great, explaining complex topics in terms that were easily understandable and answering questions clearly and thoroughly.
Download Our Latest Whitepaper
Find out what makes DOT hazmat training mandatory for employees who sign the hazardous waste manifest, a “dually regulated” document for tracking shipments.