Acclimate seasonal workers to prevent heat illness

hot-weatherHeat-related injuries and fatalities are always a risk in the Midwest’s unpredictable summers. Soaring summer temperatures can take a toll on outdoor workers, and new workers are especially at risk for heat illness.

Seasonal workers can be considered new even if they have been working every season for several years. Gradually increasing the workload and giving workers time to acclimate allows them to build tolerance to the heat. This is critically important for workers who are new to working outdoors in the heat, who have been away from working in the heat for a week or more, or who are working at the beginning of a heat wave. Visit OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention page for more information.

OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool allows you to have additional safety information available on your cellphone. The app allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their worksite and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers. The app can give reminders about the protective measures that should be taken at that risk level, such as drinking enough fluids, scheduling rest breaks, planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency, adjusting work operations, gradually building up the workload for new workers, training on heat illness signs and symptoms, and monitoring each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.