Prevent heat illness

Heat illness can be deadly. Make heat safety part of your overall safety program to ensure employees stay healthy while they are working.

Indoor heat?

Indoor heat can be deadly, too. That's why we dedicated a resource page and training webinar to it. See Beat the Heat & Keep Your Cool: Indoors to learn more.

Notice for California employers

Cal/OSHA's Heat Illness Prevention Standard Title 8, Sect. 3395 requires employers with outdoor work areas have an effective Heat Illness Prevention Plan available at the worksite.

The Title 8, Sect. 3395 requirements include providing access to shade and water, written procedures including emergency response, and training for all employees and supervisors on the effects of heat.

The amended Standard applies to all outdoor places of employment. Impacted industries include agriculture, construction, landscaping, oil and gas extraction, and transportation or delivery of agricultural products, construction materials or other heavy materials unless operating an air-conditioned vehicle that does not include loading or unloading.

See our helpful Heat Illness Prevention Plan Template, in English and Spanish, which can be easily customized and branded for your company.

At-a-glance highlights*

For complete information, see the Cal/OSHA Guidance for Employers and Employees on the New Requirements.

Shade

  • Shade must be easy to reach without obstacles, hazardous or unreasonably unpleasant conditions in the way.
  • Shade must be present when the temperature exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Shade must accommodate all employees on “recovery or rest periods”.

Water

  • Must be fresh, pure, suitably cool, and provided to employees free of charge.
  • It should be located as close as reasonable to employees’ work area.
  • Water containers must be clean and readily available and provide paper cups.

Preventive cool-down rest

  • Encouraged whenever an employee feels the need to protect themselves from overheating.
  • If an employee shows signs of heat illness, first aid procedures should be implemented right away. This may require emergency personnel be contacted.

High-heat procedures

  • Shall be implemented at 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Procedures include monitoring employees for signs of heat illness by direct supervision, buddy system, or regular communication by phone for employees working alone.
  • For agriculture employees, a 10-minute “preventive cool-down rest period” is required every two hours when temperatures exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Employees must take the cool-down period. If the work day exceeds and 8 hour period:
    • A cool-down period is taken at the 8th hour;
    • And another cool-down period will take place after another 2 hours or at the 10th hour.

Emergency response procedures

  • A designated supervisor or person must be able to contact emergency services.
  • Employees and supervisors must be trained to recognize symptoms of heat illness, and in the steps to be taken to prevent progression – such as providing basic first aid and contact emergency personnel.

Acclimatization

  • Includes monitoring employees during a heat wave. Monitoring can be by the supervisor or the buddy system.

Training

  • Provided for all employees and supervisors before work, at hire and refresher training as needed. Cal/OSHA requires training to be effective and understood.

A written Heat Illness Prevention Plan must be available on-site

Your Plan must be available in English and in the language understood by the majority of employees. It should also be integrated into your Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Elements of the plan must include:

  • Procedures for providing sufficient water.
  • Procedures for providing access to shade.
  • High-heat procedures.
  • Emergency response procedures.
  • Acclimatization methods and procedures.

Jump start your program with this helpful Heat Illness Prevention Plan in English and Spanish, which can be easily customized for your company. Upon editing, feel free to replace the logo with your own to add your personal touch!

For additional assistance, please contact your local Risk Management Consultant.

*Note: This is an informational bulletin and should not be construed as providing any legal advice. If you have questions regarding the regulations mentioned, or any amendments, you should contact your attorney.


Water. Rest. Shade.

See OSHA's Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers, with important information for all states.

Heat illness resources