Becker & Poliakoff

Heat Safety Tips for Employers

Heat Safety Tips for Employers

Record heat waves stretched across the U.S. this summer, but illness from exposure to heat is preventable. Employers have an obligation under the law to make sure employees have safe working conditions and should have a plan to protect them from heat-related illnesses. Here are few potentially life-saving tips!

  • Be especially vigilant on the first few hot days of the season. According to OSHA, 50% to 70% of outdoor fatalities occur in the first few days of working in warm or hot environments.
  • Working outside on landscaping, pools, beaches, tennis courts, and other outdoor amenities makes employees particularly vulnerable.
  • Any plan should include the following:
    • Adequate hydration
    • Access to shade
    • Breaks
    • A requirement that employees wear appropriate clothing for the weather
  • Employers, especially supervisors, should be aware of heat related illness symptoms such as the following:
    • Thirst
    • Irritability
    • Rash
    • Cramping
    • Exhaustion
  • Be patient. The body needs time to build a tolerance to the heat.

For more discussion about how to cope with extreme heat, tune into this episode of “Take it To the Board,” where host Donna DiMaggio Berger interviews Jane Gilbert, Chief Heat Officer of Miami-Dade County. This popular podcast episode addresses timely issues, including:

  • Would naming heat waves help them get the attention they deserve?
  • Are all heat-related deaths reported?
  • How can cities coordinate with each other to address this growing issue?
  • How can individuals and organizations cope with a power outage during a heatwave?