Preparing for and Responding to Heat-related Emergencies
How to Prepare for Heat-related Emergencies...
Employers should confirm that worksite emergency procedures include sufficient information to address hot weather emergencies.
- Have a plan in case workers experiences heat-related illness.
- Make sure medical services are available and that workers know what to do if a fellow worker has signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.
- Be prepared to provide first aid for any heat-related illness and call emergency services (i.e., call 911) if a worker shows signs and symptoms of heat stroke.
- Be able to provide clear and precise directions to the worksite.
- Immediately respond to symptoms of possible heat-related illness – move the worker into the shade, loosen the clothing, wet and fan the skin, place ice-packs in the armpits and on the neck. Give the worker something to drink. Call emergency services if the worker loses consciousness or appears confused or uncoordinated. Have someone stay with an ill worker.
- Ensure that emergency procedures are used whenever appropriate.
- Develop a plan to reschedule or terminate work if conditions become too risky.
How to Respond to Heat-related Emergencies...
If workers report or supervisors observe signs or symptoms of heat-related illness, stop activity immediately. Take action while waiting for help. HEAT STROKE IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. CALL 911 immediately if a worker shows any signs of heat stroke.
While waiting for help:
|* Remember, if you are not a medical professional, use this information as a guide only to help workers in need.|
- 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 have questions, visit OSHA's Worker's Page or call 1-800-321-6742 (OSHA). It's confidential. 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 1-800-321-6742 (OSHA).