Last updated on September 28th, 2022 at 01:31 pm
Heat Related Illness (HRI) or Heat Stress is a unique concern for outdoor workers. HRI is an umbrella term for conditions that result from prolonged exposure to heat and humidity without frequent breaks or adequate fluid intake. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) mentions the following types of HRI: Heat Stroke, Heat Exhaustion, Rhabdomyolysis, Heat Syncope, Heat Cramps, and Heat Rash.
Special populations within the agricultural community may have elevated risk from complications from the heat. Older workers may have more difficulty regulating body temperature. Young children sweat less and produce heat more quickly than adults. In addition, farm workers may be working far from water or shade, may be compensated in a way that discourages taking a break, and may be fearful of reporting any symptoms of heat related illness to supervisors.
HRI and Fatality Prevention Suggestions (OSHA, Water. Rest. Shade.):
- Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
- Rest in the shade to cool down.
- Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
- Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
- Keep an eye on fellow workers.
- Take it easy on your first days working in the heat – your body needs time to adjust.
Heat Related Illness Resources
- AgriSafe Heat Related Illnesses
- Heat Stress Acclimatization
- Protecting Yourself from Heat Stress
- Protecting Workers from Heat Stress
|Heat and Wildfire Smoke Exposure Among Agricultural Workers: Examining Exposure Risk and Potential Strategies to Protect Workers|
Heat and wildfire smoke has become a persistent health threat for agriculture workers. This webinar will focus on understanding the risks of exposure to wildfire smoke and heat and potential strategies for protecting agricultural workers. In addition, participants will learn about a unique research partnership utilized to co-develop and communicate safety and health information to agricultural workers.
|Invest in Your Health: Stay Cool! Prevention of Heat Related Illness in Agriculture (November 17, 2020)|
This Train the Trainer course is designed for teachers, Extension staff, 4H and FFA leaders and others who work with young adults. Agriculture is ranked as one of the most dangerous occupations and involves workers and family members of all ages. Illness and injuries can be prevented if we use the right protective equipment for the job. This program will present an overview of common exposures in farming and ranching and identify appropriate personal protective equipment.
|Practical Solutions for Heat-Related Illness Prevention for Agriculture (April 7, 2021)|
Agricultural workers are at high risk of heat-related illness and recent field studies point to specific risk factors and solutions. This webinar is intended to prepare agricultural safety and health professionals for the upcoming summer season. We will share practical and evidence-based solutions for the prevention of heat-related illness in the agricultural work environment.
|Women and Heat Stress|
People who work outdoors are more likely to become dehydrated and experience heat-related illness or heat stress. Although illness from exposure to heat is preventable, thousands become sick from occupational heat exposure every year, and some cases are fatal. Agriculture is an industry where workers have suffered heat-related illnesses. Specific groups within the agricultural community, including pregnant women, older workers, and young children, could have elevated risks related to prolonged heat and humidity exposure. However, with proper information and preventative action, heat-related illness can be avoided for all populations in the agricultural community.
Websites and Apps
- Heat Illness
- Heat-Related Deaths — United States, 2004–2018
- Heat Stress – Heat Related Illness
- OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool App
- Water. Rest. Shade. Keeping Workers Safe in the Heat
Page updated: July 2021