OSHA Issues Call to Action for Idaho Employers to Protect Workers From Dangers of Working in Hot Weather


With temperatures climbing to triple digits in parts of Idaho, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is calling on employers to protect workers indoors and outdoors from the dangers of heat illness. Nearly 3 out of 4 heat illness fatalities happen during the first week of work. New and returning workers need to build tolerance to heat by taking frequent breaks and working shorter shifts in the heat to start.

OSHA’s message is simple: Water. Rest. Shade.

–                Encourage workers to drink water every 15 minutes.

–                Take frequent rest breaks in the shade to cool down.

–               Have an emergency plan ready to respond when a worker shows signs of heat-related illness.

–               Train workers on the hazards of heat exposure, and how to prevent illness.

–                Allow workers to build a tolerance for working in heat.

The OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool is a free, downloadable app that calculates a worksite’s heat index and displays the associated risk levels. Users can receive precautionary recommendations specific to heat index risk levels to help protect employees from heat-related illness. The tool is available in English and Spanish.

OSHA’s Occupational Heat Exposure page explains the symptoms of heat illness, first aid measures to provide while waiting for help, engineering controls and work practices to reduce workers’ exposure to heat, and training.

Exposure to heat can cause illness and death. Workers should know their rights and what they can do to prevent heat illness.

Federal law entitles you to a safe workplace. Your employer must keep your workplace free of known health and safety hazards. This includes heat exposure.

OSHA Worker Rights and Protections