Heat-related Illness

Hot weather can kill. Heat-related Illness (HRI) ranges from relatively harmless conditions such as heat edema (swelling) and heat cramps to more serious illness such as heat syncope (fainting) and heat exhaustion. The most serious and often fatal form of HRI is heat stroke.

Cases of heat-related illness are expected to rise due to changes in climate. Knowing proper preventative measures as well as signs and symptoms for serious heat illnesses can protect workers.



Heat-related Illness by Temperature

Heat-related Illness in New Workers

Heat-Related Illness

Journal Articles

Spector, JT, Sampson, L, Flunker, JC, Adams, D, Bonauto, DK (2023). Occupational heat-related illness in Washington State: a descriptive study of day of illness and prior day ambient temperatures among cases and clusters, 2006–2021. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajim.23506 | Research Finding

Martell Hesketh, BA; S. Wuellner, PhD, MPH; A. Robinson, BA; D. Adams, BS; C. Smith, PhD, MPH; D. Bonauto, MD, MPH (2020). Heat related illness among workers in Washington State: A descriptive study using workers' compensation claims, 2006-2017. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ajim.23092 | Research Finding

Miriam Calkins, Bonauto D, Hajat A, Lieblich M, Seixas N, Sheppard L, Spector J. (2019). A case-crossover study of heat exposure and injury risk among outdoor construction workers in Washington state. Scand J Work Env Health. https://www.sjweh.fi/article/3814

June T Spector, Bonauto DK, Sheppard L, Busch-Isaksen T, Calkins M, Adams D, Lieblich M, Fenske RA (2016). A Case-Crossover Study of Heat Exposure and Injury Risk in Outdoor Agricultural Workers. PLoS One. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0164498 | Research Finding

June T Spector, Krenz J, Rauser E, Bonauto DK (2014). Heat-related illness in Washington State agriculture and forestry sectors. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.22357

David K Bonauto, Anderson R, Rauser E, Burke B (2007). Occupational Heat Illness in Washington State, 1995 – 2005. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.20517