Water, Rest, Shade, Repeat: OSHA's enhanced heat-safety guidelines

Posted by Compass Group on Apr 27, 2022

It is time to beat the heat! No, seriously it is time to beat the heat with OSHA’s new National Emphasis Program (NEP) that will help protect millions of workers from heat-related illnesses and injuries. Millions of workers around the United States and here at Compass Group are exposed to heat and are susceptible to heat-related illnesses/injuries that are preventable thanks to OSHA’s new and improved guidelines that in-house experts enforce at our work sites. 


The NEP states that OSHA will, ”proactively inspect workplaces for heat-related hazards in general industry, maritime, construction, or agriculture operation alleging hazardous exposures to heat (outdoors and/or indoors).” This way worksites can prevent injury and in some cases death caused by high temperatures before they happen. Reducing the number of heat-related illnesses is a number one priority for the Department of Labor and the safety of our workers remains one of our top priorities. 


In the new guidelines, OSHA also states, “Heat-related illnesses and injuries can happen at almost any ambient temperature, especially in cases where workers perform moderate or higher physical activity or wear heavy or bulky clothing or equipment, including personal protective equipment.”


The guidelines essentially come down to three key practices: Water. Rest. Shade. 



When it comes to working long hours in the hot sun, hydration is key. OSHA guidelines say to drink cool water constantly, even if you do not feel thirsty. The most common contributor to heat exhaustion is dehydration. Other signs of heat exhaustion include but are not limited to dizziness, headaches, and muscle aches. 



To combat the symptoms of heat illness, it is best practice to pace yourself.  BUT, If you happen to feel like your heart is racing or any of the aforementioned symptoms of heat illness/injuries sit and rest and continue to stay hydrated! Taking frequent breaks during hot weather conditions OSHA has made the commitment to all workers that they would have a place to rest and the in-house professionals at Compass Group are committed to upholding OSHA’s new rules. 



The best way to cool down is to rest in a cool, shady area. That shady area can look different at various types of work sites. Indoors, workers should rest in air-conditioned areas that steer clear of heat-producing sources such as ovens and furnaces. In outdoor sites, shade can be found by resting underneath tents, in air-conditioned vehicles, buildings, or in areas that have fans and misting devices that can cool you down. 


Here at Compass Group, we have in-house safety inspectors that are aggressive when it comes to the safety of our workers. They have received the proper safety training from OSHA that includes the ability to identify and control heat hazards and recognize the early symptoms of heat-related illnesses. The well-being of our workers is and will always be our top priority. Please visit compassgrp.com/our-company for more information.