Heat Safety in the Workplace: Modified Delphi Consensus to Establish Strategies and Resources to Protect the US Workers

Margaret C. Morrissey*, Douglas J. Casa, Gabrielle J. Brewer, William M. Adams, Yuri Hosokawa, Courteney L. Benjamin, Andrew J. Grundstein, David Hostler, Brendon P. McDermott, Meredith L. McQuerry, Rebecca L. Stearns, Erica M. Filep, David W. DeGroot, Juley Fulcher, Andreas D. Flouris, Robert A. Huggins, Brenda L. Jacklitsch, John F. Jardine, Rebecca M. Lopez, Ronda B. McCarthyYannis Pitisladis, Riana R. Pryor, Zachary J. Schlader, Caroline J. Smith, Denise L. Smith, June T. Spector, Jennifer K. Vanos, W. Jon Williams, Nicole T. Vargas, Susan W. Yeargin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of this consensus document was to develop feasible, evidence-based occupational heat safety recommendations to protect the US workers that experience heat stress. Heat safety recommendations were created to protect worker health and to avoid productivity losses associated with occupational heat stress. Recommendations were tailored to be utilized by safety managers, industrial hygienists, and the employers who bear responsibility for implementing heat safety plans. An interdisciplinary roundtable comprised of 51 experts was assembled to create a narrative review summarizing current data and gaps in knowledge within eight heat safety topics: (a) heat hygiene, (b) hydration, (c) heat acclimatization, (d) environmental monitoring, (e) physiological monitoring, (f) body cooling, (g) textiles and personal protective gear, and (h) emergency action plan implementation. The consensus-based recommendations for each topic were created using the Delphi method and evaluated based on scientific evidence, feasibility, and clarity. The current document presents 40 occupational heat safety recommendations across all eight topics. Establishing these recommendations will help organizations and employers create effective heat safety plans for their workplaces, address factors that limit the implementation of heat safety best-practices and protect worker health and productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021GH000443
JournalGeoHealth
Volume5
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug

Keywords

  • heat risk management
  • heat stress
  • heat-related illness
  • occupational
  • safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Epidemiology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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