Heat Stress: What Workers Need to Know
Many different types of workers are at risk for heat stress and the risks that come with the heat. Some of those risks are things you might not have thought of - like the risk of injury from sweaty palms or fogged up safety glasses. You may have heard of others, like heat stroke and heat exhaustion, but do you know how to recognize the signs and what to do? If you need a refresher on staying safe while working in the heat, take a few minutes to brush up. Learn More >>
Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress. Exposure to extreme heat can result in occupational illnesses and injuries. Heat stress can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes. Heat can also increase the risk of injuries in workers as it may result in sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness. Burns may also occur as a result of accidental contact with hot surfaces or steam.
Workers at risk of heat stress include outdoor workers and workers in hot environments such as firefighters, bakery workers, farmers, construction workers, miners, boiler room workers, factory workers, and others. Workers at greater risk of heat stress include those who are 65 years of age or older, are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications that may be affected by extreme heat.
Prevention of heat stress in workers is important. Employers should provide training to workers so they understand what heat stress is, how it affects their health and safety, and how it can be prevented.