Avoiding Heat Injuries in the Workplace

construction worker sweating because of heat

Summer might be great news for school-kids, but for hardworking people on the job, heat can pose real health risks. Here's what you need to know to keep everyone safe.

Heat Risks

Although summer sun does increase heat-related injuries and health risks, it's crucial to prioritize safety throughout the year--especially since heat problems have a variety of sources. Take, for example, industries that regularly deal with high volumes of hot objects, or workplaces where strenuous physical activity is combined with high humidity. Because of this, it's not just outdoor employees who are at risk; anyone who works in or around heat must be careful, aware, and safe.

OSHA defines four categories of heat associated risk. These categories are:

  • Lower: Less than 91°F
  • Moderate: 91°F to 103°F
  • High: 103°F to 115°F
  • Very High to Extreme: Greater than 115°F

Being familiar with these categories can help you take appropriate actions in a hot workplace.

Prevention of Heat Injuries

Here are a few tips for preventing heat injuries in your workplace

Proper Ventilation and Cooling Systems

Air conditioning and proper ventilation are little things that have a big impact. Good airflow can keep temperatures from becoming dangerous in both indoor and outdoor environments.

Healthy Work Practices

Work/break cycles, access to plenty of cold water, and chances to build up heat tolerance can help limit the risk of injury in high-temperature environments. Employers can also use training materials to help workers take good care of themselves in the heat.

Make Emergency Plans

It's essential to have an emergency plan in place. Heat injuries should be taken seriously and treated quickly. A little preparation goes a long way.

Looking for more workplace safety tips or training for your workplace? Contact us today!