Heat & Cold Stress

Protecting workers from temperature extremes, including via hazard assessment, engineering controls, safe work practices, protective clothing and equipment and training. Our editors have “cherry picked” the best resources – to access them, click here.

Climate change may increase the severity and prevalence of known occupational hazards, as well as the development of new hazards, with outdoor workers being most at risk.

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A 61-year-old kitchen worker at a restaurant in Atlanta’s Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel died sometime after entering a walk-in freezer.

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The human body has a remarkable ability to cool itself, but all bets are off in hot weather conditions if workers who are physically exerting themselves aren’t drinking enough water and taking periodic rest breaks in the shade.

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An Australian study led by Professor Peng Bi at the University of Adelaide’s School of Public Health has found that workers’ compensation claims rise when temperatures climb.

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The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) says many indoor workers who spend much of their work shifts in moderately cold environments are at risk for health and safety issues. Possible problems include pulled muscles and loss of feeling and dexterity in fingers and toes.

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Use this checklist from the Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety and Health (eLCOSH) to ensure that you’ve taken all reasonable steps to protect your workers from the hazard of cold stress. If you identify any gaps in your protections while completing the checklist, make sure that you address them.

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Train your workers about cold stress hazards and how to prevent them.

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Here’s a checklist you can use to organize your cold stress hazard assessment.

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The cold stress law trainers need to know and the hazard info workers need to know.

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After reviewing 20 heat-related OSHA enforcement cases, CDC determines the largest risk factor for heat fatalities is a lack of acclimatization plans.

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