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Trade News Release
June 17, 2008
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: (202) 693-1999


OSHA offers safety tips for working in summer heat

WASHINGTON -- The hot days of summer are here. Throughout the country, thousands of employees who work outdoors face the potential dangers associated with overexposure to heat. Factors such as working in direct sunlight, high temperature and humidity, physical exertion and lack of sufficient water intake can lead to heat stress.

"During the warm season, it is important to understand that exposure to heat can cause serious illness or death," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. "We encourage employers and employees to take advantage of OSHA's many free resources that offer advice on how to stay healthy while working outside."

Exposure to heat can cause heat cramps and rashes. The most serious heat-related disorders are heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Symptoms include confusion; irrational behavior; loss of consciousness; hot, dry skin; and abnormally high body temperature. Drinking cool water, reducing physical exertion, wearing appropriate clothing and regular rest periods in a cool recovery area can lessen the effects of working in summer heat.

Protecting Workers from the Effects of Heat is a fact sheet explaining heat stress and how it can be pr