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Keep Employees Safe: Water. Rest. Shade. 

Ensure employees are safe from heat illness by following these prevention tips:
  • Drink water every 15 minutes, even if not thirsty, at least 1 pint per hour.
  • Take breaks in the shade to cool down. This time can be productive by performing light duty tasks such as paperwork, training, etc.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
  • Keep an eye on fellow workers. Make sure no one is working alone.
  • Allow acclimatization. "Easy does it" on first days of work in the heat. More frequent breaks may be needed during this time.
  • When possible, shift work hours to do the most strenuous work  during cooler morning hours. Shorten work periods and increase rest periods:
    • As temperature rises
    • As humidity increases
    • When sun gets stronger
    • When there is no air movement
    • When protective clothing or gear is worn
    • For heavier work
  • Ensure all employees learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.

Heat Illness: Know the Symptoms

People react differently − they may have just a few of these symptoms or most of them - but they can escalate quickly. Early intervention is the key to preventing a medical emergency. 
Heat Exhaustion:
  • Headache, dizziness, or fainting
  • Weakness and wet skin
  • Irritability or confusion
  • Thirst, nausea, or vomiting
  • Rapid breathing and/or heart racing
  • Swelling in extremities
Heat Stroke:
  • May be confused, unable to think clearly
  • May pass out, collapse, or have seizures (fits)
  • May stop sweating
  • Red and/or hot skin (like a sunburn)
What to do:
  • Get person out of the sun and into shade.
  • Loosen Clothing
  • Rub arms and legs so that the hot blood circulates
  • Mist them with cool (not cold) water, and/or wipe down with a cool, wet towel, and fan them.
  • It may help with dizziness if the person lays down on their back and elevates their feet (15-20 centimeters).
  • Offer water if they are conscious and able to swallow.
Never leave the person alone. Call 9-1-1 right away for heat stroke symptoms. Or, if the person does not begin to feel better within an hour. When you call for help, be prepared to:
  • Describe all symptoms and first aid rendered.
  • Give specific and clear directions to the work site. 
If 9-1-1 isn't necessary, an employee with heat exhaustion should not return to work for the day and should seek medical attention.
For additional resources and information, visit OSHA's Heat Illness Prevention website and review PARSAC's Heat Illness Prevention Policy Template.
OSHA Heat Safety Smartphone App

Easily calculate the heat index and risk level to outdoor workers at the worksite. You can also set reminders about the protective measures that should be taken at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness.
Copyright © 2015 Public Agency Risk Sharing Authority of California, All rights reserved.

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