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Hot Temperatures and Protecting Workers from Thermal Stressors

The American Board of Industrial Hygiene® (ABIH®) reminds workers and industry of the need to protect employees from the dangers inherent in hot working conditions.

Lansing, MI – WEBWIRE

Employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment for all their workers and this includes protecting them from temperature extremes.

While the first day of summer may still be a few weeks away, outdoor workers in many places are already experiencing hot weather in their daily routines. There are also countless employees routinely working in hot conditions such as indoor occupations that are subject to radiant heat sources, or physical activities and those with physical contact with heated objects.
These workers are all subject to the potential dangers associated with heat-related illnesses. Heat-related illnesses can range from heat rashes and cramps to exhaustion and even heat stroke. In extreme circumstances, they could even die.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment for all their workers and this includes protecting them from temperature extremes. In hot environments, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports, “Employers should establish a complete heat illness prevention program to prevent heat illness. This includes: provide workers with water, rest and shade; gradually increase workloads and allow more frequent breaks for new workers or workers who have been away for a week or more to build a tolerance for working in the heat (acclimatization); modify work schedules as necessary; plan for emergencies and train workers about the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and their prevention; and monitor workers for signs of illness. Workers new to the heat or those that have been away from work and are returning can be most vulnerable to heat stress and they must be acclimatized.”
“High temperatures and humid conditions can quickly cause heat-related illnesses,” said David Roskelley, CIH® and Chair of ABIH®. “Those exposed to direct sunlight often experience an increased heat index value of up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Occupations where personal protective equipment is required can be especially challenging when working in hot conditions. Fortunately, heat-related illnesses and deaths are entirely preventable.”
Certified Industrial Hygienists are uniquely qualified to help avert occupational cases of heat-related illness. CIHs are trained to recognize and prevent conditions involving heat stressors. This knowledge, along with additional core competencies that include engineering controls and ventilation; health risk analysis and hazard communication; and work environments and industrial processes is instrumental for ensuring a safe work environment.
To learn more about the American Board of Industrial Hygiene®, Certified Industrial Hygienist® credential or to locate a CIH® to perform industrial hygiene services, please visit, email or call (517) 321-2638.
About the American Board of Industrial Hygiene ®
Since 1960, ABIH®, a not-for-profit corporation, has been the world’s largest organization for certifying professionals in the practice of industrial hygiene. ABIH® is the premier credentialing body responsible for ensuring high-quality certification including education, experience, examination, certification maintenance and ethics enforcement.  Currently, more than 6900 people in 32 countries are certified to use the CIH® designation.

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 Thermal Stressor
 Industrial Hygiene
 Occupational Health
 Outdoor Workers

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