From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Helping Employees Take the Heat

What employees can do:

  • Drink plenty of water regularly throughout the work day to replace lost fluids.

  • Perform strenuous work during the coolest times of day; reserve lighter tasks for high heat periods.

  • Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics, ensuring that the clothing doesn’t prohibit sweat evaporation.

What employers can do:

  • Increase airflow through fans and windows.

  • Ensure uniforms are made of breathable, lightweight materials that permit cooling.

  • Slowly acclimate workers to the heat, if possible.

  • Extend rest periods to give workers adequate time to cool off.

  • Provide a cool rest area nearby.

  • Teach employees to recognize the signs of heat stress or exhaustion.

This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2003-08-01.