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Preventing Heat-Related Illness in Outdoor Workers

A recent NIOSH report offers advice to employers on the importance of preventing heat-related illness in workers.

The report is based on an evaluation of heat stress at a national park in California, but the agency said its recommendations  can be applied to other worksites where extreme heat may be a factor.

NIOSH found that one out of nine employees had a core body temperature above the defined heat strain criteria. Several had sustained maximum heart rates consistent with heat strain.

NIOSH offers the following advice to employees:

•    Carry a radio
•    Follow the in-place heat stress policy provided by your employer
•    Learn the signs and symptoms of excessive heat strain
•    Self-monitor and document heat strain signs and symptoms
•    Tell your supervisor immediately if you or a co-worker has symptoms of heat-related illness
•    Drink plenty of fluids and take frequent breaks

 

Read the full report here.