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Heat Illness Program Protects Workers from Indoor and Outdoor Heat Hazards
July 27, 2023
MIOSHA Heat Illness Prevention State Emphasis Program enters second year
LANSING, Mich.— The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) has renewed a State Emphasis Program to help employers identify and reduce exposures to indoor and outdoor heat-related hazards in the workplace.
“Our goal is to remind employers of their responsibility to provide workplaces free of known heat-related safety and health hazards and equip them with a plan to establish their own heat illness prevention procedures,” said MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman. “Hot and humid conditions continue to pose serious risks to workers’ health, but these heat-related illnesses are preventable.”
MIOSHA first launched the State Emphasis Program for heat hazards in July 2022, in alignment with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration's introduction of a National Emphasis Program to prevent heat related illness on the job.
In the first year of the heat emphasis program, MIOSHA conducted 59 targeted heat related enforcement inspections and provided 179 compliance and education assistance visits to employers to raise heat illness awareness. This summer, MIOSHA will conduct programmed inspections at construction and landscaping sites to elevate their heat illness prevention programs.
Every year, dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill while working in hot or humid conditions nationwide. Heat-related illnesses range from heat rashes to heat cramps (prickly heat), heat exhaustion, heat syncope (fainting) and heat stroke, which is potentially deadly.
Employers are encouraged to utilize MIOSHA’s sample heat illness prevention plan, which can be used as a template to establish their own heat illness prevention procedures and reduce the risk of work-related heat illness among their employees. Workplaces can also access federal OSHA’s fact sheet to learn how to protect workers from the effects of heat.
MIOSHA designed the employer sample program for heat illness and prevention to address heat strain in outdoor and indoor environments. Employers are encouraged to evaluate conditions at their worksite while providing detailed procedures on how to prevent and treat heat illness, including:
- Monitoring the heat index and what to do when the heat index equals or exceeds 90°F
- Provisioning water
- Accessing cooling areas or shade
- Building heat tolerance
- Developing an emergency response plan
- Handling a sick employee
- Training for employees and supervisors
For help identifying heat-related hazards and preventing dangerous heat exposure, visit www.michigan.gov/heat.