June 11, 2018

Hot Weather Tips

The UFCW’s Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Office has materials to help members reduce the risk of heat illness and stay safe this summer.

With outside temperatures starting to soar, now is the time to make sure employers are taking the necessary steps to protect workers from heat stress and heat-related illness. With that in mind, we need your help to get the word out to stewards and members to make sure no member is put in harm’s way to due to hot weather conditions.

All workers should have access to:
• Adequate amounts of drinking water.
• Regular rest breaks or rest periods in a cool area.
• Regular bathroom breaks, as necessary.
• Adequate air circulation through the use of air conditioning, fans and general ventilation.
• Education on the early signs of heat-related illness.
• Time to acclimatize to the heat. It takes about one week for the body to adjust to
working in the heat.

Hot weather safety strategies should include:
• Training all management and hourly employees with an emphasis on how to
recognize a medical emergency (heat stroke).
• Having a clearly written protocol on how to respond to a medical emergency.
• Training all management and hourly employees on workers’ right to access
drinking water, as needed, and the right to access bathrooms, as needed.
• Monitoring particularly hot work areas and a plan in place for when the heat
index approaches the extreme caution zone.

You can download the following documents here (scroll down to the bottom the page):
• Hot Weather Advisory: Preventing Heat Illness or Heat Stress at Work
• Heat Illness Response Guidelines
• Sample Heat Emergency Procedures

For more information about heat and heat-related illness, contact the UFCW’s OSH Office at 202-223-3111.