Toasty Temps Bring Reminder about Heat Illnesses

July 2, 2007 ( - With temperatures having started their summer climb, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is directing employers to a variety of online resources about protecting workers who have to be outside.

An OSHA news release said the two most serious forms of heat-related illnesses are heat exhaustion (primarily from dehydration) and the more severe heat stroke, which could be fatal. Symptoms include headaches, weakness, nausea and dizziness. Recognizing those warning signs and taking quick action can help prevent a fatality.

The announcement said the online resources include:

  • Working Outdoors in Warm Climates , an OSHA fact sheet that offers advice on ways to protect employees against exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) that highlights precautions to take if working in extreme heat and explains how to protect against Lyme disease and the West Nile Virus.
  • OSHA’s Heat Stress Quick Card, a document that lists tips on preventing many heat-related deaths and injuries.
  • Protecting Yourself in the Sun, a pocket card that explains how to perform self-examinations that may detect early stages of skin cancer. The card, available in English and Spanish , also describes common physical features of skin cancer that can be caused by overexposure to the sun.

More information about sun and heat hazards can be found on OSHA’s Web site ( ), and on the Web sites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ( ) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) ( ).