NPGA Bobtail

Heat Challenges for Outdoor Workers

While the busy season for propane marketers is typically when heating degree days pile up, this summer has been brutal for outdoor workers. Record high temperatures and persistent wildfire smoke continue to impact outdoor working conditions.

Heat-related illnesses are the body’s response to excessive heat and loss of water and salt, usually through sweating. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, headache, nausea, dizziness, thirst, heavy sweating, and elevated body temperature. It is important for employers and employees to be aware of the potential risks associated with extreme heat. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Healthy, there are steps that can be taken to mitigate these risks, including:

  • Limit time in the heat or increase time spent in a cool area;
  • Reduce the physically difficult demands of a job;
  • Increase the number of workers per task;
  • Use tools to minimize manual work;
  • Provide adequate amounts of cool, potable water near the work area, and encourage workers to drink water often;
  • Encourage supervisors and workers to learn more about heat stress and signs of heat-related illness.

You can monitor the heat index forecast for your area here. For more information, contact NPGA’s Senior Manager of State Association Relations, Eric Sears.