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

photo of the factsheet

Signs and symptoms of heat illness | Señales y síntomas de enfermedad por calor

This factsheet visually shows where the signs and symptoms of heat illnesses occurs in our body. 

Esta hoja informativa muestra visualmente dónde ocurren los signos y síntomas de las enfermedades causadas por el calor en nuestro cuerpo.

photo of the powerpoint

Powerpoint del peligro del estrés por calor

Este es un powerpoint para el juego de peligro que cuestiona información importante sobre las causas del estrés por calor, los factores de riesgo, las enfermedades por calor, los tratamientos y la prevención.

picture of the presentation

Heat Stress Jeopardy Powerpoint

This is a powerpoint for the jeopardy game that quizzes on important information about heat stress causes, risk factors, heat illnesses, treatments, and prevention. 

picture of the fact sheet

Heat Illness Types | Enfermedades por calor

This fact sheet depicts variations of heat illness symptoms and what to do in different situations. 

Esta hoja informativa describe variaciones de los síntomas de las enfermedades causadas por el calor y qué hacer en diferentes situaciones.

illustration of a worker in the sun

Quick Signs and Dangers Reference Table (Span) | Tabla de referencia rápida de señales y peligros

Esta es una hoja informativa que resume los signos y peligros de las enfermedades causadas por el calor y enseña cómo combatir estos peligros en tres sencillos pasos.

picture of an illustrated version of heat

Quick Signs and Dangers Reference Table (Eng)

This is a fact sheet that summarizes the signs and dangers of heat illnesses and teaches how to combat these dangers in three simple steps. 

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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Heat Exposure, Injury Risk, and Productivity in Agricultural Workers

NIOSH 2014-2017 | June Spector, MD, MPH

This project examines the association between heat exposure and traumatic injury risk in agricultural workers, the relationship between heat stress and productivity, and the feasibility of using a biomarker of heat acclimation to detect workers at risk for heat-related illness and injury, with the ultimate goal of prevention. 

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Educational Video(s) for Farmworker Ladder Safety and Heat Illness Prevention

WA State MAAF 2012-2014 | Richard Fenske, PhD, MPH

This project expanded the use of two recent PNASH-produced Spanish radio programs on ladder safety and heat-related illness prevention into a video tool for farmworker training.

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