Heat Illness Prevention

sweating in the heatWhat is heat illness?

Heat illness is a medical condition resulting from the body’s inability to cope with a particular heat load and includes, but is not limited to, heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion, fainting, and heatstroke. Prolonged or intense exposure to hot conditions and heavy physical work even in cooler conditions can lead to your body overheating. Symptoms of heat illness may not be recognized initially and can quickly progress.

Why is it important to know about heat illness?

Heat illness is preventable but, if left unchecked, could lead to death. People who work outside, especially in the summer, are exposed to heat and can get heat illness. Heat illness can also lead to injuries. Workers are more likely to get injured if they get tired or dizzy from the heat while working. Heat exposure can also lead to heatstroke, a condition that can be fatal. What you learn here will prepare you for helping your co-workers and yourself stay safe when working in hot weather.


Heat training booklet

   New Heat Toolkit

   Learn More


Popular PNASH Resources

Quick Signs and Dangers Reference Table pdf English Spanish

Heat Illness Types pdf English/Spanish

Heat Stress Jeopardy PPT English Spanish

Signs and Symptoms Body Map pdf English/Spanish

Prevention Information pdf English/Spanish

Washington State Heat Rule

The Washington State Heat rule (WAC 296-307-097) is effective from May 1st - September 30th every year. During this time, employers are required to implement a heat illness accident prevention plan, monitor employees, provide water, and train workers. Visit the WA Department of Labor and Industries webpage to learn more about these requirements.

Regional and National Resources

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Heat Stress

PNASH Resources

hand washing

Masks in Heat

Tips for working in heat while wearing a mask. Available in Spanish and English.

Heat training book cover

Heat Illness Facilitator's Guide

A train-the-trainer guide for the identification, prevention, and treatment of heat illness in outdoor agricultural workers. Part of the Heat Illness Toolkit.


Symptoms and Treatments Poster

Know the symptoms and treatment to prevent serious heat illness and death. Part of the Heat Illness Toolkit.

PNASH Research

A Multi-Level Approach to Heat Related Illness Prevention in Agricultural Workers

NIOSH 2016-2022 | June Spector, MD, MPH

This project proposes to develop and evaluate a multi-level approach to heat-related illness (HRI) prevention in agricultural workers. The intervention will develop tools to prevent the negative health effects of prolonged heat for individuals (knowledge and behaviors), workplaces (policies and practices), and communities (homes).

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Injury and Illness Prevention in the Pacific Northwest for the Dairy Industry

NIOSH 2016-2022 | Michael Yost, PhD

Washington claims data shows that dairy workers have a higher rate of injury than other industries. This study pilots bilingual training programs on Slips, Trip and Falls, and Animal Injury Prevention for Northwest dairies. We combine expertise from Washington State University (WSU)’s Department of Animal Sciences, Washington State Department of Labor and Injuries (LNI) Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) Program, Washington State Fatality Assessment (FACE) Program, and the Washington State Dairy Federation.

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Practical Solutions for Pesticide Safety

NIOSH 2016-2022 | Kit Galvin, MPH, CIH

The Practical Solutions for Pesticide Safety (PSPS) guide is a collection of over 30 solutions and ideas identified on farms. Each solution sheet is available in English and Spanish.

PNASH works with farmers, educators, and researchers across the Northwest to test and develop solutions originally developed by growers for themselves. These practical solutions are then shared back to the industry through an online platform.

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