Train workers before hot outdoor work begins. Tailor the training topic outline to cover employer-specific policies and worksite-specific conditions. A single worksite may have some job tasks that are low risk for heat-related illness and others that are high risk. Training will be more effective if it is matched to job tasks and conditions, and is reviewed and reinforced throughout hot weather conditions. The following training topics may be addressed in one session or in a series of shorter sessions.
- Risk factors for heat-related illness.
- Different types of heat-related illness, including how to recognize common signs and symptoms.
- Heat-related illness prevention procedures.
- Importance of drinking small quantities of water often.
- Importance of acclimatization, how it is developed, and how your worksite procedures address it.
- Importance of immediately reporting signs or symptoms of heat-related illness to the supervisor.
- Procedures for responding to possible heat-related illness.
- Procedures to follow when contacting emergency medical services.
- Procedures to ensure that clear and precise directions to the worksite will be provided to emergency medical services.
|Factors that May Cause Heat-related Illness|
See Training Resources for heat-related illness prevention training tools and resources. Also see OSHA's Heat-Related Illness Prevention Training Guide (PDF) for one tool to help you train your workers. The training guide includes instructions for teaching workers about heat hazards and a daily checklist to make sure all appropriate precautions are in place each workday. OSHA's factsheets and worksite posters (in English and Spanish) can help in communicating key messages about heat safety and health. Some labor and industry organizations offer industry-specific guidance for protecting workers, such as wildland firefighters (PDF), that face heat exposure under special circumstances. Inquire whether your industry offers any special guidance, or adapt information from industries with similar situations.
- 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).