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National News Release: 11-594-NAT
April 26, 2011
Contact: Enrique Chaurand    Jesse Lawder
Phone: 202-693-4679    202-693-4659
Email: chaurand.enrique@dol.gov    lawder.jesse@dol.gov

US Labor Department launches national outreach
campaign to protect workers from heat-related illnesses

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today will announce, from Anaheim, Calif., a national outreach initiative by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration to educate workers and their employers about the hazards of working outdoors in the heat and steps needed to prevent heat-related illnesses.

"If you're working outdoors, you're at risk for heat-related illnesses that can cause serious medical problems and even death," said Secretary Solis. "But heat illness can be prevented. This Labor Department campaign will reach across the country with a very simple message water, rest and shade."

Each year, thousands of outdoor workers experience heat illness, which often manifests as heat exhaustion. If not quickly addressed, heat exhaustion can become heat stroke, which killed more than 30 workers last year.

"As we move into the summer months, it is very important for workers and employers to take the steps necessary to stay safe in extreme heat," said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. "Drinking water often, taking breaks and limiting time in the heat are simple, effective ways to prevent heat illness."

Heat can be a real danger for workers in jobs ranging from agriculture and landscaping to construction, road repair, airport baggage handling and even car sales.

OSHA has developed heat illness educational materials in English and Spanish, as well as a curriculum to be used for workplace training. Additionally, a new Web pa