Outdoor Heat Exposure

Related keywords: Heat Stress, OHE

One man leans getting water and one man stands drinking, taking a break from fire fighting training. Caption: Keep well-hydrated. Don’t wait for thirst before taking a drink; drink enough water that you don’t become thirsty.  Take more breaks and in the shade or a cool area when possible.Working outdoors in hot weather can result in serious illness or even death. Workers exposed to extreme heat may experience symptoms of heat-related illnesses (HRI), such as heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion, fainting, heat stroke and other symptoms.

Heat-related illness is also linked to injuries from falls, equipment operation accidents and other on-the-job incidents. Such incidents can happen when someone with heat stress becomes fatigued, dizzy, confused or disoriented.

Employers must provide training to workers so they understand what heat stress is, how it affects their health and safety, and how it can be prevented. The Outdoor Heat Exposure Rule WAC 296-62-095 (app.leg.wa.gov) applies from May 1 through September 30, every year, when exposures are at or above a specific temperature (see Table 1 of the rule (app.leg.wa.gov)).

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