Employers: Protect Workers From Heat as Temps Rise

Learn to recognize the signs of heat stroke, related illnesses

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 13, 2022) — As temperatures begin to soar in the commonwealth, the Kentucky Labor Cabinet is reminding employers that they have a responsibility to protect employees working in hot conditions.

Kentucky Labor Cabinet Secretary Jamie Link is urging employers to establish a heat illness prevention plan, closely monitor workers in hot indoor and outdoor environments, and learn how to recognize and treat various heat-related illnesses.

“Employers are responsible for providing safe workplaces free of known hazards, and that includes extreme heat conditions,” Link said. “Asking workers to perform physically exhausting work in dangerously hot conditions without providing breaks, water and shade can result in serious illness and even death.”

Heat illnesses can affect anyone, regardless of physical condition or age. Whether in hot indoor facilities or in direct sunlight, heat can take a toll on those performing manual labor.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends water, rest and shade at regular intervals for those working in hot indoor or outdoor environments. The agency partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to develop a free mobile application for Android and iPhone users that provides real-time heat index information and hourly forecasts by location, as well as occupational safety guidance and health recommendations.

The OSHA NIOSH Heat Safety Tool can be found on Google Play and in Apple’s App Store.

The Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Program – KYSAFE – provides free, confidential heat exposure assessments by request, and offers a Heat Stress Awareness training module on its website. Additionally, the cabinet is offering a class on heat stress during its upcoming population center training event June 21 through June 24 in Frankfort.

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