1. Drink cool water. Anyone working in a hot environment should drink cool
water in small amounts frequently--one cup every 20 minutes. Employers
should make water available. Avoid alcohol, coffee, tea and caffeinated soft
drinks, which cause dehydration.
2. Dress appropriately. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting
clothing and change clothing if it gets completely saturated. Use sunscreen
and wear a hat when working outdoors. Avoid getting sunburn.
3. Work in ventilated areas. All workplaces should have good general
ventilation as well as spot cooling in work areas of high heat production.
Good airflow increases evaporation of sweat, which cools the skin.
4. Work less, rest more. Supervisors should assign a lighter workload and
longer rest periods during days of intense heat. Short, frequent work-rest
cycles are best. Alternate work and rest periods with longer rest periods in
a cooler area, and schedule heavy work for cooler parts of the day.
5. Ask how workers are feeling. Supervisors should monitor workplace
temperature and humidity and check workers' responses to heat at least
hourly. Allow a large margin of safety for workers. Be alert to early signs
of heat-related illness and allow workers to stop their work for a rest
break if they become extremely uncomfortable.
6. Know the signs and take prompt action. Employees and employers should
learn to spot the signs of heat stroke, which can be fatal. Get emergency
medical attention immediately if someone has one or more of the following
symptoms: mental confusion or loss of consciousness, flushed face, hot, dry
skin or has stopped sweating.
7. Train first-aid workers. First-aid workers should be able to recognize
and treat the signs of heat stress. First aid workers should also be able to
recognize the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion, heat cramps and other
heat-related illness. Be sure that all workers know who is trained to give
8. Reduce work for anyone at risk. Employers should use common sense when
determining fitness for work in hot environments. Lack of acclimatization,
age, obesity, poor conditioning, pregnancy, inadequate rest, previous heat
injuries, certain medical conditions and medications are some factors that
increase susceptibility to heat stress.
9. Check with your doctor. Certain medical conditions such as heart
conditions and diabetes, and some medications can increase the risk of
injury from heat exposure. Employees with medical conditions or those who
take medications should ask their doctors before working in hot
10. Watch out for other hazards. Use common sense and monitor other
environmental hazards that often accompany hot weather, such as smog and