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The following has been “borrowed” from the O.S.H.A. website.


Working Outdoors in Warm Climates

     Hot summer months pose special hazards for outdoor workers who must protect themselves against heat, sun exposure, and other hazards. Employers and employees should know the potential hazards in their workplaces and how to manage them.



     Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) radiation,which causes premature aging of the skin, wrinkles, cataracts, and skin cancer. There are no safe UV rays or safe suntans. Be especially careful in the sun if you burn easily, spend a lot of time outdoors, or have any of the following physical features: numerous, irregular, or large moles; freckles; fair skin; or blond, red, or light brown hair. Here’s how to block those harmful rays: 

  • Cover up. Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and long pants. 

  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.  Be sure to follow application directions on the bottle or tube. 

  • Wear a hat. A wide brim hat, not a baseball cap, works best 

    because it protects the neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and 


  • Wear UV-absorbent sunglasses (eye protection).  

    Sunglasses don’t  have to be expensive, but they should block  

    99 to 100 

    percent of UVA and UVB radiation. Before you buy sunglasses,  

    read the product tag or label. 

  • Limit exposure. UV rays are most intense  

    between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 


OSHA Card—Protecting Yourself in the Sun           



     The combination of heat and humidity can be a serious health threat during the summer months. If you work outside (for example, at a beach resort, on a farm, at a construction site) or in a kitchen, laundry, or bakery you may be at increased risk for heat related illness. So, take precautions. Here’s how:                          

  • Drink small amounts of water frequently.                                     

  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing—cotton is


  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol or large amounts of sugar.

  • Work in the shade.                                                             

  • Find out from your health care provider if your medications and 

    heat don’t mix.                                                                   

  • Know that equipment such as respirators or work suits can

    increase heat stress.                                                         

     There are three kinds of major heat-related disorders—heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. You need to know how to

recognize each one and what first aid treatment is necessary. 

OSHA Heat Stress Fact Sheet:                                                

OSHA Heat Stress Quick Card:                                              


Lyme Disease/Tick-Borne Diseases

     These illnesses (i.e., Rocky Mountain spotted fever) are  transmitted to people by bacteria from bites of infected deer (blacklegged) ticks. In the case of Lyme disease, most, but not all, victims will develop a “bulls-eye” rash. Other signs and symptoms may be non-specific and similar to flu-like symptoms such as fever, lymph node swelling, neck stiffness, generalized fatigue, headaches, migrating joint aches, or muscle aches. You are at increased risk if your work outdoors involves construction, landscaping, forestry, brush clearing, land surveying, farming, railroads, oil fields, utility lines, or park and wildlife management. Protect yourself with these precautions:

  • Wear long sleeves; tuck pant legs into socks or boots.

  • Wear high boots or closed shoes that cover your feet completely.

  • Wear a hat.

  • Use tick repellants, but not on your face.

  • Shower after work. Wash and dry your work clothes at high


  • Examine your body for ticks after work. Remove any attached

    ticks promptly and carefully with fine-tipped tweezers by      

    gripping the tick. Do not use petroleum jelly, a hot match, or nail 

    polish to remove the tick. OSHA Lyme Disease Fact Sheet:



West Nile Virus

     West Nile virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mild symptoms include fever, headache, and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands. Symptoms of severe infection include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis. You can protect yourself from mosquito bites in these ways:

  • Apply Picaridin or insect repellent with DEET to exposed skin.

  • Spray clothing with repellents containing DEET or permethrin.

    (Note: Do not spray  permethrin directly onto exposed skin.)

  • Wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks.

  • Be extra vigilant at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are

    most  active.

  • Get rid of sources of standing water (used tires, buckets) to

    reduce or eliminate mosquito   breeding areas.

    OSHA West Nile Virus Fact Sheet:

OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletin:“Workplace Precautions Against West Nile Virus” :


 Poison Ivy-Related Plants

     Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac have poisonous sap (urushiol) in their roots, stems, leaves and fruits. The urushiol may be deposited on the skin by direct contact with the plant or by contact with contaminated objects, such as clothing, shoes, tools, and animals.

     Approximately 85 percent of the general population will develop an allergy if exposed to poison ivy, oak or sumac. Forestry workers and firefighters who battle forest fires have developed rashes or lung irritations from inhaling the smoke of burning plants.

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, tucked into boots. Wear

    cloth or leather   gloves.

  • Apply barrier creams to exposed skin.

  • Educate yourself on the identification of poison ivy, oak, and

    sumac plants.

  • Educate yourself on signs and symptoms of contact with

    poisonous ivy, oak, and   sumac.

  • Keep rubbing alcohol accessible. It removes the oily resin up to  

    30 minutes after exposure.

OSHA Web Page—Poisonous Plants:

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