worker staying safe in summer heat
June 04, 2024 Safety News

How to Stay Safe While Working Outdoors in the Heat

As the summer sun intensifies, it becomes essential for outdoor workers to ensure their safety and health in high temperatures. In Rhode Island and the surrounding areas, summer heat can present serious risks, leading to heat-related illnesses if precautions aren't followed. This blog offers practical advice and guidelines, along with key safety resources from Beacon Mutual, to help you stay protected while working in the heat.

Recognize the Dangers of Extreme Heat

Many heat-related illnesses and fatalities can be prevented with the right knowledge and actions.


Prepare for Hot Weather

  • Stay updated: Regularly check weather forecasts and be aware of any heat advisories.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink ample water before, during, and after work. The CDC suggests drinking about 1 cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes for work lasting less than 2 hours, and sports drinks with electrolytes for extended periods of sweating.
  • Choose the right clothing: Opt for lightweight, breathable, and light-colored clothes to reflect sunlight and help with sweat evaporation.
  • Protect against sun exposure: Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and wear UV-protective sunglasses to lower skin cancer risk.  Learn simple steps to reduce your risk for skin cancer

Implement Smart Work Habits for Hot Conditions

  • Plan work wisely: Whenever possible, schedule tasks to avoid the hottest parts of the day.
  • Take frequent breaks: Ensure regular rest in shaded or air-conditioned areas to cool down.
  • Team up: Work in pairs or groups to monitor each other for signs of heat-related issues.
  • Pace yourself: Adjust your workload and pace to reduce strain in extreme heat.

Respond to Heat-Related Emergencies

  • Know the signs: Be aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and other heat-related conditions.
  • Act quickly: Learn appropriate first aid responses and understand when to seek medical assistance.
  • Stay prepared: Know where first aid kits and emergency contact numbers are located.


  • OSHA has launched a Heat Illness Prevention campaign, Water-Rest-Shade, which educates employers and workers on the dangers of working in the heat. Visit the site to learn more about heat-related illness symptoms, obtain education and training materials, and videos, and download the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool (HST) Smartphone App. The HST app provides weather information, heat index, risk factors, heat illness symptoms, and first aid measures.
  • National Council for Occupational Safety and Health's Outdoor & Indoor Workers Demand Protection to Beat the Heat campaign.
  • Beat the Heat, the Beacon Mutual safety alert provides information to avoid the dangers of summer heat by following the prevention tips and learning the signs of heat stress.

Visit the Safety Library to access free safety resources available to all Beacon policyholders and clients.

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Beacon Mutual
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Beacon Mutual

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