Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

HOT, HOT HEAT: Summer Heat Safety

Posted by Rachael Ballard Filed under: Courses, OSHA

Summer brings different types of excitement like vacations and no homework for students. However, summer is also the time for seasonal jobs for employees and sports team try-outs for students, much of which occur outside in the heat.

The heat combined with the hard labor of jobs or the high intensity of some sports can make for potentially dangerous outcomes for staff and students.

OSHA identifies heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which requires immediate medical attention and can result in death, all as heat illnesses. To avoid heat illness, OSHA encourages water, rest and shade. For more detailed steps to avoid heat illness, click here.

To prepare staff, WORKS created the “Heat and Cold Stress” training course to train educators on the causes and symptoms of working in extreme conditions including heat.

Heat stroke is also the major health concern for high school athletes practicing outside, but is particularly common with football players. Sports Safety International provides these nine tips for ensuring athlete safety:

  1.     Know the physical conditioning of your athletes
  2.     Acclimate them to heat
  3.     Set proper practice times and duration
  4.     Dress athletes in proper clothing
  5.     Provide frequent water breaks
  6.     Know the weather conditions and plan accordingly
  7.     Monitor your athletes
  8.     Rehydrate your athletes
  9.     Have an emergency action plan in place

For more detailed tips, click here.

In addition to taking these tips to heart, WORKS encourages you to check out the National Federation of State High School Associations’ “A Guide to Heat Acclimatization and Heat Illness Prevention” free training course.

To learn more about how your district can prepare coaches and staff to safely deal with extreme weather conditions, email

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