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July 2, 2008

Workplace rule for outdoor heat takes effect July 5

Audio available

TUMWATER — With temperatures reaching near-record levels in many parts of the state this week, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is reminding employers that a permanent outdoor heat rule takes effect Saturday, July 5. The rule protects workers from outdoor heat exposure, which can result in serious medical conditions, including disability or death.

The rule requires employers with employees who work outdoors to:

  • Train employees and supervisors to recognize heat-related illness and what to do if someone has symptoms.
  • On days when temperatures require preventive measures, increase the volume of water available to employees.
  • Have the ability to appropriately respond to any employee with symptoms of illness.
  • Include heat-related-illness hazards in the employer’s accident prevention program.

L&I offers many online resources, such as a sample accident prevention plan, training materials for supervisors and workers, and wallet cards with safety tips.

In addition to online resources, any employer may request a free workplace consultation.

More information and resources about the heat stress rule are available at http://www.Lni.wa.gov/Safety/Topics/AtoZ/heatstress/default.asp.


For media information: Elaine Fischer, 360-902-5413.

Radio broadcast version:
A new workplace rule for outdoor heat takes effect this coming Saturday in Washington. Under the rule adopted by the Department of Labor & Industries, employers must train people to recognize heat-related illness, increase the volume of water available to employees on hot days, have the ability to respond when someone shows signs of illness, and incorporate their plans into their accident prevention programs. More information is available by going to www dot LNI dot wa dot gov and searching for the words, “Heat stress.”

Audio message (10 seconds)

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Voice of Elaine Fischer, L&I communications manager: "In spite of the cooler weather this year, we have had some really hot days, so employers need to take steps now to protect their employees who work outdoors in the heat."

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