Heat Illness Prevention
Beat the Heat National Contest - OSHA
From April 19 through June 9, 2023, OSHA sponsored a Beat the Heat Contest to raise awareness of the dangers and hazards of heat exposure in both indoor and outdoor workplaces. Raising awareness of heat hazards is an important step in educating workers and employers on how to recognize when heat is affecting workers’ health and safety, and how to protect workers from the dangers of exposure to hazardous heat.
The contest’s focus on educating stakeholders on the dangers of hazardous heat is important because heat is the leading weather-related killer and is becoming more dangerous as 18 of the last 19 years were the hottest on record. Excessive heat can cause heat illnesses and even death if not treated properly. It also exacerbates existing health problems like asthma, kidney failure, and heart disease. Workers in agriculture and construction are at highest risk for getting heat illness, but the problem affects all workers exposed to heat, including indoor workers without climate-controlled environments. People of color and people with lower incomes often work in industries which increase the likelihood of being exposed to heat as a hazard. Essential jobs where employees are exposed to high levels of heat are disproportionately held by people of color.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, heat stress killed 815 U.S. workers and seriously injured more than 70,000 workers from 1992 through 2017. However, this is likely a vast underestimate given that injuries and illnesses are underreported in the U.S., especially in the sectors employing vulnerable and often undocumented workers. Furthermore, heat is not always recognized as a cause of heat-induced injuries or deaths and can easily be misclassified because many of the symptoms overlap with other more common diagnoses.
The contest had four main goals:
- Educate stakeholders, especially workers and employers, about heat hazards in the workplace.
- Prevent heat illness by creating an awareness campaign that increases the public's knowledge about this issue.
- Highlight the dangers of heat; and
- Motivate employers and workers to take action to prevent heat illness.
OSHA received 195 submissions to the contest, from 40 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. Stakeholders created a variety of awareness tools to increase worker and employer knowledge about hazardous heat in the workplace. These included ideas, logos, infographics, entire communications campaigns, videos and skits, and checklists, among others.
OSHA has chosen 18 winners for the contest in the following categories: Strongest Message, Most Creative, Most Innovative, Highlighting Indoor Heat Hazards, and Best Non-English Submission. Read more about the winners and their tools and strategies below.
The entries submitted for this Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Beat the Heat Contest do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the USDOL, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government or OSHA.
The submissions and contest winners do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Labor or OSHA and reliance on the tools or guidance noted in any submission is not necessarily sufficient to satisfy an employer's obligations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The submissions are not standards or regulations and create no new legal obligations. Employers should consult OSHA guidance on occupational heat on its heat webpage, particularly its page on employer responsibilities. Additionally, the mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations in any submission does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government or OSHA.
All contest submissions agreed to the contest terms and conditions outlined below.
- Winning submissions will be posted on OSHA's website and announced in Summer 2023.
- Submissions and winners' names may be used by OSHA (e.g., on OSHA social media accounts, webpages and at events) in connection with this contest and the production, distribution, promotion, broadcast at public meetings/conferences, and online posting thereof.
- Each submission must comply with federal copyright and trademark law. All of the content in a submission must be the original work of the submitter. The Participant warrants and represents that they are the sole owner of the materials (ex. videos, images, communication campaign materials) submitted for this contest and/or that they have the legal right to share the submitted work with OSHA and grants OSHA and the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) non-exclusive, unlimited, irrevocable, world-wide, and royalty-free rights to use their submission for Government uses and purposes. In addition, the Participant warrants and represents that they are the sole owner of any trademark incorporated or included with their submitted work. As such, the Participant grants OSHA and USDOL a non-exclusive, unlimited, irrevocable, world-wide, and royalty-free license to use such trademark/s for Government uses and purposes.
Written Consent from Personal Identifiable Information
For any submission that contains the name, written statement, and/or photographic, videotaped, and/or digitally recorded image of any identifiable person, the Participant represents and warrants that they have obtained the written permission of that person to use their name, written statement, and or recorded image for the purpose of this contest.
Participants should seek legal guidance if they have questions about using copyrighted, trademarked, or personal identifiable materials in contest submissions.
Assumption of Risk, Liability, Indemnity
The Participant agrees to assume any and all risks and waive claims against OSHA, USDOL, the Federal Government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their participation in a prize competition, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.
To the extent permissible under federal law, Participant shall indemnify, defend, and hold OSHA, USDOL, the Federal Government, and its agents harmless from and against any and all suits, claims, liabilities, demands, costs, expenses, or damages arising out of submitter's use of the works as provided herein or arising out of the breach of warranty or agreement made by submitter herein.
OSHA and OSHA officials do not endorse any product, service, or enterprise that may appear in submission materials. Furthermore, by recognizing winning submissions, OSHA is not endorsing any products, services, or enterprises that may appear in those submissions.