It has been said that “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”. Well, actually it’s both. Workers exposed to hot indoor environments or hot and humid conditions outdoors are at risk of heat-related illness, especially those doing heavy work tasks or using bulky or non-breathable protective clothing and equipment. Some workers might be at greater risk than others if they have not built up a tolerance to hot conditions, or if they have certain health conditions. The table below shows some environmental and job-specific factors that increase the risk of heat-related illness.

Factors That Put Workers at Greater Risk:

  • Environmental
    • High temperature and humidity
    • Radiant heat sources
    • Contact with hot objects
    • Direct sun exposure (with no shade)
    • Limited air movement (no breeze, wind or ventilation)
  • Job-Specific
    • Physical exertion
    • Use of bulky or non-breathable protective clothing and equipment

How can heat-related illness be prevented?

Heat-related illnesses can be prevented. Important ways to reduce heat exposure and the risk of heat-related illness include engineering controls, such as air conditioning and ventilation, that make the work environment cooler, and work practices such as work/rest cycles, drinking water often, and providing an opportunity for workers to build up a level of tolerance to working in the heat.

Remember: Drink Because You Know That You Should, Not Because You’re Thirsty!

We appreciate all of you for working SAFE and being a leader out in the field. Remember, at PLS we not only want you to be thinking about Safety while you are at work but also want you to BRING IT HOME!!