Working and Heat Stress


Heat stress is not the same as extreme dehydration. It develops when the body is put under pressures to the point it can no longer regulate its own heat. Many positions, both indoors and outdoors, are predisposed to heat stress because of environmental factors within the workplace. If symptoms of heat stress are ignored, it can lead to heat exhaustion or the possibly fatal condition of heat stroke. Heat exhaustion symptoms do not always show up before heat stroke. Both heat-related illnesses can be avoided by taking preventative measures and being aware of the warning signs.

On May 9, 2022, Oregon OSHA adopted rule OAR 437-002-0156 to address heat related illness. This rule is effective June 15, 2022. The new rule outlines a series of requirements to reduce the likelihood of employees having a heat related illness. Supervisors and employees both have responsibilities to meet under the new regulations.

Are you working remotely? You'll still need to know the signs and symptoms of heat illnesses. Please take the online training to learn your role in preventing heat related illnesses at work. If you'd like to request an instructor-led session, please contact the UO Occupational Health and Safety Manager, Haily Griffith.