Construction workers, firefighters, factory workers, landscapers, bakers, HVAC workers, miners, and other employees who work outdoors or in extreme heat environments are at risk of severe heat-related injuries and illnesses. These include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. Workers who are 65 or older, have high blood pressure or heart disease, take certain prescription medications, or are overweight face even greater risks of injury due to extreme heat.
Also, in addition to injuries caused by the heat itself, people who work in hot temperatures face increased risks of other workplace accidents and injuries. This is because the heat may lead to sweaty hands, fogged safety glasses, dizziness, confusion, or even dehydration.
Heat-related workplace injuries are far more common—and serious—than most people realize. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), thousands of workers in the United States become ill and dozens die each year while working in extremely hot or humid conditions. The worst part? These illnesses and deaths are largely preventable.