What are some ways to protect outdoor workers from the heat?

Author: Ashley Shaw, XpertHR Legal Editor

Even though OSHA has no standard directly addressing the sun, employers should be aware that they can still be fined under the General Duty Clause if serious health or safety issues occur because of the employer's failure to give proper safety guards.

There are quite a few things employers can do to protect workers from heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Some of these include the following:

  • Offer water;
  • If possible, put work stations in the shade; and
  • Give frequent breaks (this is especially important for new workers who have not been out in the sun and at the beginning of the project or summer in order to give workers the chance to acclimate to the sun.)
  • Use OSHA's resources to train workers in heat safety.