During any heat spell, you may get heat-related health and safety questions. Federal or state regulations do not address heat for indoor workers, however good health and safety practices for individuals, offices and work groups need to be followed.
Each supervisor or administrator should judge when and how to alter work practices if needed. During temperatures over 80 degrees you will have to consider the type of work, the local working conditions, and individual employee response to the heat. We encourage supervisors to be as flexible as possible, consistent with your unit's needs, in allowing employees to either take appropriate leave, make work schedule adjustments, and/or telework.
If a staff member advises you that they have a health condition that puts them at risk for heat stress, it is appropriate to allow the employee to use sick leave in addition to the options suggested above.
Encourage all employees to:
- Dress for the weather while keeping safety in mind - no shorts or sandals in labs or around hazardous materials
- Take frequent drinks of water
- Take more frequent breaks in cooler areas
- Use fans and open windows for those who do not have air conditioning
- Place containers of ice in front of fans
For health and safety information call (206) 543-7388.
For questions about leave use and/or schedule adjustments, contact your unit's Human Resources Consultant.
FOR OUTDOOR WORKERS
For those working outdoors or sending employees outdoors for 15 minutes or longer, remember to follow the Labor and Industries standards on outdoor heat exposure.
For information to help your employees go to one of the following links:
Heat Wave Safety Checklist from Red Cross
Extreme Heat Prevention Guide