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NIOSH Safety and Health Topic:

Heat Stress


Heat Stress

Workers in hot environments

Summer Hazards for Workers – now on the NIOSH Science Blog. Read it and share your comments...

Heat-induced occupational illnesses, injuries, and reduced productivity can occur with excessive exposure to a hot work environment. Heat-induced disorders include transient heat fatigue, heat rash, fainting, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Aside from these disorders, heat poses the threat of injuries because of accidents caused by slippery palms as a result of sweating, fogged up safety glasses, and dizziness. Severe burns can also occur as a direct result of accidental contact with hot surfaces and steam. The links below provide acess to more information on heat-induced occupational illnesses, injuries, and reduced productivity, as well as methods that can be taken to reduce risk.


NIOSHTIC-2 search results on Heat Stress
NIOSHTIC-2 is a searchable bibliographic database of occupational safety and health publications, documents, grant reports, and journal articles supported in whole or in part by NIOSH.

NIOSH Resources

Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Hot Environments (Revised Criteria 1986)
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 86-113 (April 1986)
this document in PDF PDF 6953 KB (141 pages)
This document presents the criteria, techniques, and procedures for the assessment, evaluation, and control of occupational heat stress by engineering and preventive work practices. Included are ways of predicting health risks, procedures for control of heat stress, and techniques for prevention and treatment of heat-related illnesses.

Working in Hot Environments
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 86-112 (April 1986)
Reprinted 1992, with Minor Changes
Esta Pãgina en Español En Español
From iron workers to pastry bakers, Americans work in a wide variety of hot or hot and humid environments. Being uncomfortable is not the major problem with working in high temperatures and humidities. Workers who are suddenly exposed to working in a hot environment face additional and generally avoidable hazards to their safety and health. This publication discusses the safety and health consequences of heat stress.

Other Web Sites

Mine Safety & Health Administration's Heat Stress: What to Do...
External Link:
Provides multiple documents related to heat stress in the mining industry.

National Center for Environnmental Health's Extreme Heat
External Link:
Provides self-help measures which may assist in the recognition and prompt response to the warning signs of heat stress.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration's Safety and Health Topics: Heat Stress
External Link:
Provides a guide to information regarding the recognition, evaluation, control, and compliance actions involving heat stress.

USDA Fire Service: Heat Stress
External Link:
This brochure focuses on the risks of heat stress, and what the firefighter should do to minimize those risks.

National Weather Service Heat Wave
External Link:
Provides general information regarding the recognition and control of heat stress.

Heat Stress Index Calculator
External Link:
Calculates the heat stress index for your location.