Earlier this month, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) published a new Hazard Alert that addresses heat hazards and the best methods to prevent illness and injury while working in hot weather.

As part of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) cooperative programs to provide safety and health resources, the Hazard Alert recommends workers and employers protect themselves by doing the following:
  • Dress for hot conditions – this includes wearing clothes that are light-colored, loose-fitting and lightweight
  • Drink water – the Hazard Alert advises drinking water every 15 minutes in hot conditions. It also suggests employers provide roughly 4 cups of cool, clean water for each worker every hour
  • Take breaks – the Hazard Alert suggests taking these breaks in shaded, cooled or air-conditioned areas  
Additionally, the alert explains what to look for as signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Symptoms of heat stroke include confusion or fainting, dry and hot skin, and convulsions or seizures, and symptoms of heat exhaustion include weakness and wet skin, headache, dizziness, or fainting and nausea or vomiting.

According to the CPWR website, 17 construction workers died from heat stroke in 2015; OSHA also reported that thousands of workers suffer illness due to heat-related causes every year.

In 2013, OSHA released an app for mobile devices as part of a campaign to educate workers and employers about the hazards of heat illness.

The Hazard Alert, along with other educational resources and tools, are available for download.