Heat stress -- resulting from a combination of internal (body) heat production and external heat exposure from the environment -- can occur year-round in foundries, kitchens or laundries, or only a few days during the summer in almost any work setting.
It can be as much of a problem in Minnesota as in other regions of the country where high temperatures are common during the summer. This is because people usually do not have the opportunity to become acclimatized and stay acclimatized in climates such as Minnesota's, where daily high temperatures can vary up to 30 degrees from one day to the next during the summer.
Heat stress can result in several illnesses -- from the more minor transient heat fatigue to the medical emergency of heat stroke. It may also decrease productivity and increase the likelihood of injuries. Minnesota's heat stress standard is designed to protect employees against the risk of heat-induced illnesses and unsafe acts.
The two most important methods of preventing heat disorders are hydration and acclimatization because they increase the ability of the body to tolerate heat stress. Engineering and administrative controls are important in reducing heat exposure.
|Helpful resources from Minnesota OSHA|
|Hazard alert: heat-stress hazard||Heat-stress guide|
|Helpful resources from federal OSHA|
|Safety and health topics: heat stress||QuickCard: Heat stress (English or Spanish)|
|Protecting workers from effects of heat||Protecting yourself in the sun (English or Spanish)|
|Summer heat-illness information||App for mobile phones -- OSHA Heat safety tool
(currently available for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone)
Questions? Contact Minnesota OSHA at (651) 284-5050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.