Heat Safety at Work: A Shared Responsibility

Fact Sheets  

Staying safe in a heat wave is the responsibility of both workers and employers alike. For example, an employer’s responsibility is establishing cooling areas with shade and water, while a worker’s responsibility is drinking plenty of water.

Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses

Heat-related illness can sneak up on you if you are not prepared and do not know what to look for. Learn the symptoms and what you can do if you, your coworkers, patients, clients, or residents experience heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

Heat Stroke Symptoms:

  • High body temperature (39.4°C or higher)
  • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
  • Fast, strong pulse
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Losing consciousness

Heat Stroke What to do: 

  • Call for immediate medical attention
  • Move person to a cooler place
  • Help lower the person’s body temperature with cool clothes or a cool bath
  • Do not give the person anything to drink

Heat Exhaustion Symptoms:       

  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Heavy sweating
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Headache
  • Fainting

Heat Exhaustion What to do:

  • Move to a cool place
  • Loosen clothes
  • Put cool, wet cloths on body
  • Sip water

Get medical help right away if:

  • Throwing up
  • Symptoms last longer than an hour
Adapted from CDC (2017). Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illnesses