Heat Illness Prevention Program
Learn how to recognize symptoms and address risks of heat-induced illness; train workers to protect themselves; and respond should a heat illness emergency occur.
Heat illness is a serious medical condition resulting from the body’s inability to cope with a particular heat load and can progress quickly from mild symptoms to a serious and life-threatening illness. A heat-induced illness can occur when the body undergoes stress from overheating. Heat-related illnesses include heat rash, heat cramps, heat syncope, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. Symptoms can range from profuse sweating to dizziness, cessation of sweating, and collapse.
The Oregon OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard (OAR 437-002-0156) requires employers to implement measures to prevent heat-related illnesses when the heat index equals or exceeds 80°F in all places of employment. Oregon OSHA has determined that a workplace hazard exists whenever the heat index reaches 80°F (the “caution” level based on NOAA/NWS) and that a more serious hazard exists whenever the heat index exceeds 90°F (the “extreme caution” level based on NOAA/NWS).
Supervisors and their employees covered under this standard are responsible for understanding and complying with Oregon State University’s program and OR-OSHA regulations.
The procedures listed below describe the minimum prevention measures related to heat illness for OSU employees when working within the state of Oregon. Depending on the presence of certain risk factors, greater caution and protective measures beyond what is listed here may be needed to protect employees. For all other locations, supervisors are responsible for developing work-site specific plans to be reviewed with employees prior to commencing work onsite.