Model Safe Work Procedure: Providing Cold Drinking Water for Hot Work

Date First Published on SafetySmart Compliance: May 23rd, 2012
Topics: Heat & Cold Stress |


Work in extreme heat can lead to a variety of heat-related illnesses, including deadly heat stroke. Failure to protect your own workers from these ailments can result not only in fatalities and serious injuries but OSHA violations under the so called General Duty Clause, which requires employers to safeguard employees from “recognized hazards” not specifically addressed in an OSHA standard.


Implementing safe work procedures for work involving exposure to extreme heat is one of the most effective measures you can use to protect workers from heat stress. The Model is based on a sample procedure from Cal-OSHA. Unlike federal OSHA, Cal-OSHA does have a specific heat stress standard that requires, among other things, employers to maintain an ample supply of cold water at the site. Although the procedure tracks California OSHA requirements, it’s an excellent model for employers in other states to adapt for work in extreme heat.