(UNDATED) - Indiana is beginning to experience extreme temperatures and high levels of humidity, the two primary elements of heat illness.
Heat illness can be a matter of life and death. Employees working in high temperatures and humid conditions, outdoors or indoors, are at risk. Employers must ensure that employees are protected. Heat-related illness is 100 percent preventable.
The Indiana Department of Labor and federal OSHA warn employers and employees about the hazards of working in the heat.
There are three vital components to reducing the likelihood of heat-related illnesses:
1. Water: A worker should not depend on thirst to signal when and how much fluid to drink. In fact, most individuals exposed to hot conditions drink fewer fluids than needed because of an insufficient thirst drive. Instead, workers should drink five to seven ounces of fluids every 15 to 20 minutes to replenish necessary fluids. That is approximately one bottle of water per hour.
2. Rest: Regular rest breaks aid workers in hot environments, whether the heat exposure is outdoors or indoors.
3. Shade: When work is performed outdoors, another important step to reducing heat illness is to provide shaded break areas. Shaded areas give workers necessary relief from the sun.
Employers and employees are strongly encouraged to learn about heat-related illnesses and take necessary precautions for prevention. To learn more about heat stress, please visit OSHA's heat illness page, located here.
About the Indiana Department of Labor:
The mission of the Indiana Department of Labor is to advance the safety, health and prosperity of Hoosiers in the workplace. In order to make significant strides, we emphasize both enforcement and compliance assistance by employers. www.in.gov/dol.
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