Heat Kills

13 July 2020

In the United States, heat is responsible for more deaths than any other natural hazard and is responsible for the majority of weather-related emergency department visits. Among natural disasters in California, heat is responsible for the most deaths in the last 30 years.

I moved to California from Chicago to avoid the bone-chilling winters and mountains of snow. Who knew that heat can be even more dangerous than the cold?

If you have employees that work outside for any length of time, they are required to be trained on your heat illness program before they work outdoors in the heat. Cal-OSHA performs sweeps to ensure that outdoor workers have water, shade, and know what to do in a heat-related emergency. Companies are required to have a written heat illness plan and then follow the plan. California Code of Regulations require that a company heat illness prevention plan covers the following:

worker training

when and how much water to provide

when shade is required

acclimatization of worker

how to recognize heat-related illnesses

first aid measures

what to do during a heat wave

high heat procedures

supervisor training

If your heat illness prevention program doesn’t cover everything shown above, it’s not complete.

If you need help in updating your plan or training your employees, contact Teddi at 714.717.9389 or Friday at Friday@mrsoshasafety.com.

OSHA-NIOSH has a FREE Heat Safety Tool that features real-time heat index and hourly forecasts, specific to your location, as well as occupational safety and health recommendations from OSHA and NIOSH.


1 California Heat & Health Project, A decision Support Tool dated 12/16/2016. Report sponsored by the California Natural Resources Agency.