Use the following checklists to prepare for hot weather and to make sure that all appropriate precautions are in place.
Planning Ahead for Hot Weather: Employer Checklist1
|Develop a list of hot weather supplies (e.g., water, shade devices, etc.). Estimate quantities that will be needed, and decide who will be responsible for obtaining and transporting supplies and checking that supplies are not running low.|
|Create emergency action plan for heat-related illnesses (who will provide first aid and emergency services, if necessary).|
|Develop acclimatization schedule for new workers or workers returning from absences longer than one week.|
|Identify methods to gain real-time access to important weather forecast and advisory information from the National Weather Service and ensure the information is available at outdoor work sites (e.g., laptop computer, cell phone, other internet-ready device, weather radio).|
|Determine how weather information will be used to modify work schedules, increase the number of water and rest breaks, or cease work early if necessary.|
|Train workers on the risks presented by hot weather, how to identify heat-related illnesses, and the steps that will be taken to reduce the risk.|
|Plan to have a knowledgeable person on the worksite who can develop and enforce work/rest schedules and conduct physiological monitoring, when necessary, at high and very high/extreme risk levels for heat-related illness.|
Daily Planning for Hot Weather: Employer Daily Checklist2
|Water||Is there plenty of fresh, cool drinking water located as close as possible to the workers?|
|Are water coolers refilled throughout the day? (Has someone been designated to check and make sure water is not running low?)|
|Shade||Is shade or air conditioning available for breaks and if workers need to recover?|
|Training||Do workers know the:|
|Common signs and symptoms of heat-related illness?|
|> Proper precautions to prevent heat-related illness?|
|> Importance of acclimatization?|
|> Importance of drinking water frequently (even when they are not thirsty)?|
|> Steps to take if someone is having symptoms?|
|Emergencies||Does everyone know who to notify if there is an emergency?|
|Can workers explain their location if they need to call an ambulance?|
|Does everyone know who will provide first aid?|
|Knowledgeable Person||For high and very high/extreme heat index risk levels, is there a knowledgeable person at the worksite who is well-informed about heat-related illness and able to determine appropriate work/rest schedules and can conduct physiological monitoring as necessary?|
|Physiological Monitoring||Are workers in the high or very high/extreme heat index risk levels being physiologically monitored as necessary?|
|Worker Reminders||Drink water often|
|Rest in shade|
|Report heat-related symptoms early|
1This table is adapted from concepts appearing in OSHA's Heat-related Illness Prevention Training Guide (PDF*).
2This table is adapted from checklist (page 18) in OSHA's Heat-related illness Prevention Training Guide (PDF*).
- Introduction (PDF)
- About the Heat Index (PDF)
- Using the Heat Index to Protect Workers (PDF)
- Protective Measures to Take at Each Risk Level (PDF)
- Planning Checklists (PDF)
- Training Workers (PDF)
- Preparing For and Responding to Heat-Related Emergencies (PDF)
- About Work/Rest Schedules (PDF)
- Estimating Work Rates or Loads (PDF)
- Acclimatizing Workers (PDF)
- Monitoring Workers at Risk of Heat-Related Illness (PDF)
|Heat Index||Risk Level||Protective Measures|
|Less than 91°F||Lower (Caution)||Basic heat safety and planning|
|91°F to 103°F||Moderate||Implement precautions and heighten awareness|
|103°F to 115°F||High||Additional precautions to protect workers|
|Greater than 115°F||Very High to Extreme||Triggers even more aggressive protective measures|
How can OSHA help? Workers have a right to a safe workplace. If you think your job is unsafe or you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). It's confidential. We can help. If you have been punished or discriminated against for using your rights, such as raising health and safety concerns or filing a complaint, you must file a complaint with OSHA within 30 days. No form is required, but you must call or send a letter to OSHA within 30 days of the alleged discrimination. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.
OSHA also provides help to employers. OSHA's On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. For more information or for additional compliance assistance contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). It's confidential. We can help.
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