2014 OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Campaign
Each year, thousands of workers experience heat-related illnesses and many even die working in the heat. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched the 2014 national campaign, with a simple message “Water. Rest. Shade.”, to prevent heat illness and to raise awareness, educate, and provide resources to prevent illness and death due to working outdoors in hot and humid weather. They made many educational and training resources available on the website below for free download.
This is the 4th year in a row. This campaign is focused on acclimatization, the physical change that the body undergoes to build tolerance to the heat. To acclimatize, workers should get used to hot environments by gradually increasing exposure by taking frequent breaks for water and rest in the shade. During a rapid change in excessively hot weather, even experienced workers need time to acclimatize.
OSHA has found that in recent years, the lack of acclimatization led to serious heat illness or death in 74% of OSHA citations. Heat illness prevention programs, which can help prevent illness and death, were absent or missing elements such as acclimatization or providing potable water. New and temporary workers are even more at risk for heat-related illnesses.