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Beat the Heat with Safety Tips from UWUA


May 18, 2023 - According to OSHA, every year dozens of workers die and thousands are injured on the job due to heat related illness.The good news is that heat related illnesses are preventable.  As summer approaches, now is the time to review safety practices when it comes to working in extreme heat.

Ease Into It


OSHA suggests easing into work in hot environments. You can do that by following the 20% rule. On the first day, work no more than 20% of the shift’s duration at full intensity in the heat. Increase the duration of time at full intensity by no more than 20% a day until workers are used to working in the heat.

Don’t Wait to Hydrate

Dehydration is a silent risk that can quietly overwhelm workers in hot environments. If you are thirsty, you might already be dehydrated. It’s best to start drinking water before you clock in, and you may need more than you realize. Every 15 to 20 minutes, workers in hot temperatures should drink eight ounces of water, according to NIOSH.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

In addition to taking other precautions against heat illness, sun exposure is a constant consideration for UWUA members who work outdoors. It can be difficult to stay covered without overheating. That’s why planning ahead and access to proper protective equipment that is lightweight, loose fitting and breathable are so important.

Check out OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention Campaign for a full menu of resources including workplace posters in English and Spanish.


In solidarity, 



The Utility Workers Union of America