Working in Hot Weather: Reminders for Employees and Supervisors

May 13, 2024

Working in high temperatures can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening. It is important to take precautions and to be prepared for high heat conditions. Please share this information with supervisors and employees in your department that work outdoors or may be exposed to high temperatures indoors during their workday. 

Outdoor work when temperature exceeds 80°F

Workers performing job duties outside must follow the campus Heat Illness Prevention & Response Plan to comply with Cal/OSHA. Important precautions include:

  • Postpone strenuous work until cooler parts of the day, when possible 

  • Schedule breaks

  • Provide water, and ample shade whenever heat exceeds 80°F

  • Monitor workers for signs and symptoms of heat illness

  • Rest in shade if experiencing heat exhaustion and do not return to work in the sun 

    • Symptoms may include nausea, weakness or fatigue, excessive sweating

  • If you suspect someone is experiencing heat stroke, immediately call 911 and attempt to cool the person down 

    • Signs of heat stroke include: hot/red/dry skin, acting confused or disoriented, falling unconscious 

  • Ensure supervisors and outdoor workers have completed Cal/OSHA heat illness prevention training:

    • Take EHS 702 Heat Illness, a 20-minute online course available through the UC Learning Center, or,

    • Supervisors may facilitate training by communicating the points outlined in the EH&S Heat Illness Fact Sheet to their staff (this option includes a form to document training attendance).

    • EH&S is available to lead a training upon request.

Outdoor work when temperature exceeds 95°F

Pay attention to details in the Work Planning and Site Checklist for requirements when it is over 95° F

Supervisors must maintain a means of communication and check in on staff often during high heat conditions. Conducting a required pre-shift meeting to review high heat procedures, encouraging employees to drink plenty of water and to take cool-down rest breaks every two hours (and/or whenever they feel the need to do so), and limiting strenuous tasks to morning or late afternoon should all be part of the outdoor work plan. 

Indoor work with high heat

Across campus, mechanical rooms, laundry rooms, dishrooms, greenhouses, and other spaces with equipment or conditions that create elevated indoor temperatures and humidity can cause heat stress. If employees work alone or for extended periods in such areas, please contact EH&S at to schedule an evaluation. EH&S staff will assist in development of a site-specific safety plan to prevent heat illness.