Working in Hot Environments
A message compiled by the Department of Administration – Risk Management Division.
Even in Minnesota, it can get hot! Did you know that an employee working in temperatures of 85 degrees with a relative humidity of 70 percent would be at a heat index in the extreme caution range putting them at risk for heat related disorders? This is just one example of a temperature and humidity combination that could cause a problem.
If you have employees working in hot environments (outdoors or in unconditioned indoor environments) you should have plans in place that prevent heat related disorders. Plans may include:
- Encouraging employees to remain well hydrated
- Making sure additional rest breaks in cool areas are available.
- Employees should also be trained on recognizing the signs and symptoms of heat related disorders for themselves or co-workers.
- Dress appropriately for outdoor work.
Several great resources include:
- Occupational Heat Exposure
- Using the Heat Index for Screening
- NIOSH – Heat Stress Resources
- OSHA-NIOSH Heat Tool App
- OSHA Quick Card
- Heat Related Illness Podcast