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L&I: Be prepared for summer heat when working outdoors

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May 10, 2013

Tumwater – With hot summer weather arriving early this year, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) wants to remind both workers and employers that working outdoors in hot weather can put you at risk of heat-related illness.

If you work outdoors in hot weather, try to follow these five tips:

  1. Start work well hydrated and drink as much as a cup of water every 15 minutes.
  2. Watch co-workers for signs of heat-related illness, such as headaches, dizziness or nausea.
  3. Pace your work and take scheduled breaks.
  4. Wear lightweight clothing and remove protective gear when it's safe to do so.
  5. Avoid drinking caffeine or eating a heavy meal.

Employers must train workers so they understand heat-related illness, how it affects their health and how to prevent it.

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, employers may request a free workplace consultation or attend a workshop.

You can get other safety tips by visiting and clicking on the '5 minutes for safety' icon.

For media information: Elaine Fischer, L&I Public Affairs, 360-902-5413 or

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