01 Aug Heat Safety in the Workplace: Modified Delphi Consensus to Establish Strategies and Resources to Protect the US Workers
Morrissey MC, Casa DJ, Brewer GJ, Adams WM, Hosokawa Y, Benjamin CL, Grundstein AJ, Hostler D, McDermott BP, McQuerry ML, Stearns RL, Filep EM, DeGroot DW, Fulcher J, Flouris AD, Huggins RA, Jacklitsch BL, Jardine JF, Lopez RM, McCarthy RB, Pitisladis Y, Pryor RR, Schlader ZJ, Smith CJ, Smith DL, Spector JT, Vanos JK, Williams WJ, Vargas NT, Yeargin SW. Heat Safety in the Workplace: Modified Delphi Consensus to Establish Strategies and Resources to Protect the US Workers. Geohealth. 2021 Aug 1;5(8):e2021GH000443. doi: 10.1029/2021GH000443. eCollection 2021 Aug.
The purpose of this consensus document was to develop feasible, evidence-based occupational heat safety recommendations to protect the US workers that experience heat stress. Heat safety recommendations were created to protect worker health and to avoid productivity losses associated with occupational heat stress. Recommendations were tailored to be utilized by safety managers, industrial hygienists, and the employers who bear responsibility for implementing heat safety plans. An interdisciplinary roundtable comprised of 51 experts was assembled to create a narrative review summarizing current data and gaps in knowledge within eight heat safety topics: (a) heat hygiene, (b) hydration, (c) heat acclimatization, (d) environmental monitoring, (e) physiological monitoring, (f) body cooling, (g) textiles and personal protective gear, and (h) emergency action plan implementation. The consensus-based recommendations for each topic were created using the Delphi method and evaluated based on scientific evidence, feasibility, and clarity. The current document presents 40 occupational heat safety recommendations across all eight topics. Establishing these recommendations will help organizations and employers create effective heat safety plans for their workplaces, address factors that limit the implementation of heat safety best-practices and protect worker health and productivity.