Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Heat

Occupational Heat Exposure - Photo Credit (left side): Aaron Sussell, Cincinnati, Ohio | Photo Credit (right side): Elena Finzio
Occupational Heat Exposure Menu Workers' Rights

Additional Resources

General Guidance about Occupational Heat Exposure

The following documents provide detailed guidance about controlling occupational heat exposure. Many of the recommendations on this website were adapted from these sources.

Heat-Related Illnesses and First Aid
Employer Help
  • Small and medium sized businesses may contact OSHA On-Site Consultation Program for help with identifying and mitigating workplace hazards. OSHA On-Site Consultation Program offers no-cost and confidential occupational safety and health services to small- and medium-sized businesses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-Site Consultation services are separate from OSHA enforcement efforts and do not result in penalties or citations.  Consultants from local agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards and how to fix them, provide advice for compliance with OSHA standards, provide training and education, and assist in establishing and improving safety and health programs. To locate the OSHA On-Site Consultation Program nearest you, call 1-800-321-6742 (OSHA) or visit www.osha.gov/consultation.
  • OSHA has developed a printable heat-related illness prevention guide for employers.
  • Heat Illness Prevention Training Guide, A Lesson Plan for Employers. OSHA. Use this training guide to lead interactive training with workers and supervisors. Can be used with the worksite poster as a training aid. Also available in Spanish.
Protecting New Workers
Heat Hazard Recognition
Environmental Heat Measurement
  • NIOSH. 2016. Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Heat and Hot Environments. Environmental heat is discussed in several locations including Section 1.1.2.
  • ACGIH. 2017 TLVs® and BEIs®. Thermal stress: heat stress and heat strain. Explains how to use WBGT to measure the environmental contribution to heat stress.
  • OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool. This smartphone application provides guidance about protecting workers from heat hazards. Keep in mind that the app’s weather data may not accurately reflect worksite conditions, and the Heat Index-based risk levels may not be sufficiently protective for all workers.
  • U.S. Army Public Health Center. Heat-Related Illness Prevention. Discusses the history and current use of WBGT to measure environmental heat in a military setting.
  • Bernard TE, Iheanacho I. Heat Index and Adjusted Temperature as Surrogates for Wet Bulb Globe Temperature to Screen for Occupational Heat Stress. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene 2015;12:323-333. Discusses the use of Heat Index as a surrogate for WBGT.
Workload

These resources describe how to estimate workload (physical activity level) for various job tasks.

  • ACGIH. 2017 TLVs® and BEIs®. Thermal stress: heat stress and heat strain. Table 3: Metabolic rate categories and the representative metabolic rate with example activities.
  • Compendium of Physical Activities. Lists metabolic equivalents (METs) for dozens of job tasks.
  • Eastman Kodak Company. 1986. Ergonomic Design for People at Work, Volume 2.
Clothing Adjustment
Increased Risk for Some Workers and Physiologic Monitoring
Peer-Reviewed Articles that Summarize OSHA Heat Investigations
  • Arbury et al. Heat Illness and Death Among Workers—United States, 2012-2013. MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2014;63(31):661-665.
  • Arbury et al. A Critical Review of OSHA Heat Enforcement Cases: Lessons Learned. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2016;58(4):359-363.
  • Tustin AW, Lamson GE, Jacklitsch BL, et al. Evaluation of Occupational Exposure Limits for Heat Stress in Outdoor Workers — United States, 2011–2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:733–737.
  • Tustin AW, Cannon DL, Arbury SB, Thomas RJ, Hodgson MJ. Risk Factors for Heat-Related Illness in U.S. Workers: An OSHA Case Series. J Occup Environ Med. 2018 Aug;60(8):e383-e389.
Industry-Specific Resources
Agriculture
Construction
Emergency Response
Sports and Exercise Physiology
Back to Top

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.

Close