Heat Illness Prevention Steps for Supervisors
What Every Supervisor Must Do:
1. Train employees to recognize signs of heat illness in themselves and in others,
and what to do in response to heat illness.
2. Remind employees daily to report symptoms of heat illness to you
immediately, and that drinking alcohol the night before work can increase
their need for water the next day.
3. If you are aware of an employee with a medical condition that puts him/her at
risk for heat illness, have him/her talk to a doctor about it.
4. Acclimate employees new to working in hot weather by limiting their
exposure to heat gradually for up to 14 days.
5. Schedule strenuous work during cooler parts of the day or reduce activity
during the hottest parts. Rotate shifts to reduce exposure to reduce exposure
to extreme heat.
6. Encourage employees to wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that limits
direct exposure to sunlight, and to wear a wide-brimmed hat and use sunblock.
7. Make sure that employees drink plenty of water – at least four cups per hour –
throughout the workday even if they are not thirsty. Make a clean supply of
water conveniently available at all times throughout the shift.
8. Provide quick access to shaded areas, or provide umbrellas or other shelter
from the sun. Shade locations should have free movement of air. Shade is
sufficient when overhead objects do not cast a shadow. Interior of a vehicle
may not be used unless it is on and being cooled by an air conditioner.
9. Assign “work-buddies” whenever possible so they can keep an eye on each
other to observe signs of heat illness.
10. Keep track of your employees at all times – know where they are and pay
attention to heat conditions.
11. If working at an off-site location, make sure you – and your employees –
know where your work site is located , and how to contact and direct
emergency services to your location. Provide a means of communication such
as a radio or a cell phone.
12. Respond to heat illness complaints immediately.
13. Know whether to call 911 or the fire department for emergency medical help
at your location.
14. Always be prepared for hot weather. During heat waves, make extreme
preventative measures. Put safety first.
15. Be accountable for your own safety and the safety of your co-workers.
16. Be aware of the weather’s effect on the employees under your supervision.
17. Know how to get emergency help to your location as quickly as possible.