Summer can mean that the heat is on for many workers spending their days outdoors, in poorly-ventilated offices or dressed in heavy-duty protective clothing. People who work outdoors should ensure that they are protected against damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight that can cause skin cancer.

Working in a hot environment can present a number of hazards to workers far beyond simple discomfort. Those working outdoors in the summer – or working indoors in hot environments such as bakeries, warehouses and manufacturing plants – can be at risk of a number of heat-induced disorders. Workers who are in poor health or unaccustomed to working in the heat are most highly susceptible

Prevention Made Simple – Heat Illness Prevention Program Key Elements Include:

Hazard Identification:

Hazard identification involves recognizing heat hazards and the risk of heat illness due to high temperature, humidity, sun and other thermal exposures, work demands, clothing or PPE and personal risk factors

Water. Rest. Shade:

Ensure that you have cool drinking water. (Note: Certain beverages, such as caffeine and alcohol can lead to dehydration.) Workers are encouraged to drink a liter of water over one hour, which is about one cup every fifteen minutes.

Provide or ensure that fully shaded or air-conditioned areas are available for resting and cooling down.


Acclimatization is a physical change that allows the body to build tolerance to working in the heat. It occurs by gradually increasing workloads and exposure and taking frequent breaks for water and rest in the shade. Full acclimatization may take up to 14 days or longer depending on factors relating to the individual, such as increased risk of heat illness due to certain medications or medical conditions, or the environment.


Understand the health effects of heat, the symptoms of heat illness, how and when to respond to symptoms, and how to prevent heat illness.

Emergency Planning and Response:

Be aware of the site emergency plan.  Emergency plan considerations include:

  • What to do when someone is showing signs of heat illness. This can make the difference between life and death.
  • How to contact emergency help.

• How long it will take for emergency help to arrive and training workers on appropriate first-aid measures until help arrives

Engineering Controls Specific to Indoor Workplaces:

Indoor workplaces may be cooled by using air conditioning or increased ventilation, assuming that cooler air is available from the outside.