The combination of heat, humidity, and physical labor can lead to fatalities, says OSHA. The two most serious forms of heat-related illnesses are heat exhaustion (primarily from dehydration) and heat stroke, which could be fatal. Signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke need immediate attention. Recognizing those warning signs and taking quick action can make a difference in preventing a fatality.
Working Outdoors is an OSHA fact sheet that offers advice on ways to protect against exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), precautions to take if working in extreme heat, and how to protect against Lyme Disease and the West Nile Virus.
OSHA's Heat Stress Card lists tips and precautions to prevent many heat-related illnesses and deaths. Available in English and Spanish, this laminated fold-up card is free to employers to distribute to their workers. It offers a quick reference about heat-related illnesses, including warning signs, symptoms, and early treatment.
Protecting Yourself Against Harmful Sunlight is a pocket card that explains how to perform self-examinations to 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 exposure to the sun.
The publications can be downloaded from OSHA's Web site on the publications page at www.osha.gov/pls/publications/pubindex.list or they can be ordered by calling OSHA's publications office at 202-693-1888.
Publication date: 06/27/2005