University units with personnel who work outdoors must have an Outdoor Heat Exposure Prevention Plan in use from May through September, according to Washington state outdoor heat exposure rules.

The plan covers hydration, training, and responding to emergencies; it applies to UW personnel performing work in an outdoor environment when personnel are exposed to outdoor heat at or above a temperature action level from May through September.

UW units with personnel who work outdoors should take the following steps:

  1. Review the UW unit responsibilities for preventing outdoor heat exposure listed on the Outdoor Heat Exposure webpage.
  2. Download the Outdoor Heat Exposure Prevention Plan template and customize it for specific tasks and work environments.
  3. Require all personnel who are required to perform a work activity outdoors for more than 15 minutes in any 60-minute period at any time during the months of May through September to complete the Outdoor Heat Exposure and Heat-Related Illness online training course.
  4. Know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, including life-threatening heat stroke and heat exhaustion, and be prepared to respond.

Preventing heat-related illness is essential to reducing the risk of accidents and injuries because heat exhaustion can make even the healthiest workers more susceptible to falls, equipment-related injuries, and other on-the-job safety hazards.

Visit the Outdoor Heat Exposure webpage for more information.