OSHA Kicks Off 2013 “Water, Rest, Shade” Campaign For Working In The Summer Heat

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OSHA Information

OSHA Video – English

OSHA Video – Spanish
Contact: Adriano Llosa      Jesse Lawder
Phone: 202-693-4686      202-693-4659
Email: llosa.adriano@dol.gov      lawder.jesse@dol.gov

US Labor Department kicks off summer campaign to prevent
heat-related illnesses and fatalities among outdoor workers
Educational materials and mobile application available

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor‘s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has kicked off a national outreach initiative to educate workers and their employers about the hazards of working outdoors in hot weather. The outreach effort builds on last year’s successful summer campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of too much sun and heat.

“For outdoor workers, ‘water, rest and shade’ are three words that can make the difference between life and death,” Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said. “If employers take reasonable precautions, and look out for their workers, we can beat the heat.”

Every year, thousands of workers across the country suffer from serious heat-related illnesses. If not quickly addressed, heat exhaustion can become heat stroke, which has killed – on average – more than 30 workers annually since 2003. Labor-intensive activities in hot weather can raise body temperatures beyond the level that normally can be cooled by sweating. Heat illness initially may manifest as heat rash or heat cramps, but quickly can become heat exhaustion and then heat stroke if simple prevention steps are not followed.

“It is essential for workers and employers to take proactive steps to stay safe in extreme heat, and become aware of symptoms of heat exhaustion before they get worse,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “Agriculture workers; building, road and other construction workers; utility workers; baggage handlers; roofers; landscapers; and others who work outside are all at risk. Drinking plenty of water and taking frequent breaks in cool, shaded areas are incredibly important in the hot summer months.”

In preparation for the summer season, OSHA has developed heat illness educational materials in English and Spanish, as well as a curriculum to be used for workplace training. Additionally, a Web page provides information and resources on heat illness – including how to prevent it and what to do in case of an emergency – for workers and employers. The page is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html.

OSHA also has released a free application for mobile devices that enables workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their work sites. The app displays a risk level for workers based on the heat index, as well as reminders about protective measures that should be taken at that risk level. Available for Android-based platforms and the iPhone, the app can be downloaded in both English and Spanish by visiting http://s.dol.gov/RI.

In developing last year’s inaugural national campaign, federal OSHA worked closely with the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration and adapted materials from that state’s successful campaign. Additionally, OSHA is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the second year to incorporate worker safety precautions when heat alerts are issued across the nation. NOAA also will include pertinent worker safety information on its heat watch Web page at http://www.noaawatch.gov/themes/heat.php.

You'll Last Longer After A Little Rest.

Photos by: CAL-OSHA

Welcome to OSHA’s Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers

HEAT ILLNESS CAN BE DEADLY. Every year, thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and some even die. These illnesses and deaths are preventable.

This webpage is part of OSHA’s nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about the hazards of working outdoors in hot weather. The educational resources on this website give workers and employers information about heat illnesses and how to prevent them. There are also training tools for employers to use and posters to display at their worksites. Many of the new resources target vulnerable workers with limited English proficiency. OSHA will continue to add information and tools to this page throughout the summer.

OSHA is also partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on weather service alerts. NOAA’s Heat Watch page now includes worker safety precautions when extreme heat alerts are issued.

We invite you to join in this effort by helping to reach workers and employers in your community with the resources you will find on this site.


Who is affected? Workers exposed to hot and humid conditions are at risk of heat illness, especially those doing heavy work tasks or using bulky protective clothing and equipment. Some workers might be at greater risk than others if they have not built up a tolerance to hot conditions.

What is heat illness? The body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating isn’t enough. Body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if precautions are not taken. Heat illnesses range from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke can result in death and requires immediate medical attention.

How can heat illness be prevented? Remember three simple words: water, rest, shade. Drinking water often, taking breaks, and limiting time in the heat can help prevent heat illness. Employers should include these prevention steps in worksite training and plans. Gradually build up to heavy work in hot conditions. This helps you build tolerance to the heat – or become acclimated. Employers should take steps that help workers become acclimated, especially workers who are new to working outdoors in the heat or have been away from work for a week or more. Gradually increase workloads and allow more frequent breaks during the first week of work. Also, it’s important to know and look out for the symptoms of heat illness in yourself and others during hot weather. Plan for an emergency and know what to do — acting quickly can save lives!

Training Resources

Training Guide for Employers to Train Workers: Provides Tailgate or Toolbox Talks
Available in English [7 MB PDF*, 43 pages] and en Español [9 MB PDF*, 43 pages]

Cal/OSHA Heat Safety Training Kit for Employers*

Cal/OSHA DVD: Water, Rest, Shade: The Work Can’t Get Done Without Them*

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Training Materials for Employers*

Labor Occupational Health Program’s (University of California, Berkeley) guide for tailgate training: Heat Hazards in Agriculture (2008). Also available en Español [1 MB PDF, 44 pages].

Farm Safety Association, Inc. Script for Instructors: Dangers of Heat Stress. Also available en Español. (2000, March).

Ohio State University Extension Training Module: Heat Stress. Also available en Español.

Texas Department of Insurance Fact Sheet: Heat Stress [169 KB PDF, 2 pages]. Also available en Español [169 KB PDF, 2 pages].

*NOTE: California and Washington state have their own heat illness prevention standards; these materials reflect the requirements in those standards.

Educational Resources for Workers and Employers

Illustrated, low-literacy fact sheets for workers
Available in English [1 MB PDF*, 4 pages] and en Español [1 MB PDF*, 4 pages]**

Worksites poster for employers that illustrate heat illness
Available in English [2 MB PDF*, 2 pages] and en Español [2 MB PDF*, 2 pages]**

Community posters that list heat prevention tips and provide OSHA
contact information
Available in English [2 MB PDF*, 1 page] and en Español [293 KB PDF*, 1 page]**

OSHA Heat Prevention Lesson Plan
Available in English [7 MB PDF*, 43 pages] and en Español [9 MB PDF*, 43 pages]

Use OSHA’s Heat Smartphone App
Check the heat index for your worksite and see reminders about the protective
measures for the specified risk level. Click Link For Download Info!

heat_app

Additional Resources for Workers and Employers

OSHA Quick Card: Protecting Workers from Heat Stress [3 MB PDF*, 2 pages]

OSHA Fact Sheet: Protecting Workers from the Effects of Heat Fact Sheet [180 KB PDF*, 2 pages]

OSHA-NIOSH Heat Illness Info Sheet: Protecting Workers from Heat Illness [132 KB PDF*, 3 pages].

OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page: Occupational Heat Exposure

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Fast Facts: Protecting Yourself from Heat Stress [375 KB PDF, 2 pages] (2010, April)

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Workplace Safety and Health Topic: Heat Stress

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Extreme Heat

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Heat Index

Cal/OSHA Webpage: California Campaign to Protect Outdoor Workers From Heat Illness***

Cal/OSHA, Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) Webpage: Heat Illness Prevention***

Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention eTool and Action Kit***

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Webpage: Outdoor Heat Exposure (Heat Stress)***

**These resources were adapted from California OSHA’s heat campaign materials.
***NOTE: California and Washington state have their own heat illness prevention standards; these materials reflect the requirements in those standards.

Media Resources

News Releases/Press Teleconference

Teleconference with Meteorologists and Weather Forecasters About OSHA’s Heat Awareness Campaign featuring Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels [Recording] [Dr. Michael’s Remarks] (2013, July 1)

US Labor Department kicks off summer campaign to prevent heat-related illnesses and fatalities among outdoor workers. OSHA News Release, (2012, May 7).

El Departamento de Trabajo de los EE.UU. lanza campaña de verano para prevenir enfermedades y muertes de trabajadores al aire libre relacionadas con el calor. OSHA News Release (2012, May 7).

Press Teleconference on Launch of 2012 Heat Illness Prevention Campaign featuring Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels [Recording]

Information Sheet

Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness Information Sheet (2013) [580 KB PDF*, 2 pages]. English/en español.

Public Service Announcements

Dolores Huerta’s Public Service Announcement [English 1 |English 2]
Long Version available in English and en español

Labor Secretary’s Public Service Announcement
Available as Audio or Video in English and en español

Drop-in Articles

“Stay Healthy in the Heat Drop-in Article” Short Version [MS Word] | Long Version [MS Word]
“Manténgase Sano en Temperaturas Altas” Short Version (Versión corta) [MS Word] | Long Version (Versión larga) [MS Word]

Drop-In Art for Publications (all high resolution)

English

Quarter Size Quarter Size (Color)
[717 KB PDF*, 1 page]
Full Size
Full Size
(Color)
[1 MB PDF*, 1 page]
Quarter Size (Black and White)
[624 KB PDF*, 1 page]
Full Size (Black and White)
[1 MB PDF*, 1 page]

En Español

Quarter Size
Quarter Size (Color)
[1 MB PDF*, 1 page]
Full Size
Full Size (Color)
[3 MB PDF*, 1 page]
Quarter Size (Black and White)
[1 MB PDF*, 1 page]
Full Size (Black and White)
[5 MB PDF*, 1 page]
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