This session will guide you through a variety of topics, which will help you understand and prevent illness related to working in hot conditions. The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) recognizes these risks, and has adopted requirements for heat stress prevention that are more strict than federal requirements. By the time the session is over, you will be able to understand how your body’s cooling system works, recognize the symptoms, and understand the causes of heat stress. You will be able to identify an overheating of your body’s cooling system, which can lead to heat illness; have an action plan for a heat illness in case one was not presented; understand the procedures for compliance by employers in the state of California required to control the risk of occurrence of heat illness in employees; and know how to prevent heat illness.
Why “California Guide to Working in Hot Conditions” Matters:
Heat illness due to working in hot conditions can be a matter of life and death. Every year, workers die in the state of California because of heatstroke. In addition, thousands of workers in the United States suffer from some form of heat stress each year. Even before heatstroke becomes lethal, it can shut down major body organs causing acute heart, liver, kidney, and muscle damage; nervous system problems; and blood disorders. Workers suffering from heat stress are at a greater risk for accidents, since they are less alert and often confused. But, with proper understanding and a plan of action, every death and illness caused by working in hot conditions can be prevented!
- Working in hot conditions can affect your health and safety.
- Know the risks of working in hot conditions, and recognize the symptoms of heat illness.
- Have a plan in place so that you can act swiftly to provide first aid in case of the occurrence of heat illness.
- Use all the means at your disposal to prevent heat illness to keep you and your coworkers safe. So, if you’re feeling the heat, by all means, get out of the kitchen, and find a cool place.
- Cal/OSHA has guidelines in place to help protect your safety. If you feel your employer is not taking adequate measures to keep you safe, ask for the written procedures or contact a supervisor.
- Drink plenty of water while working in hot conditions.