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Heat Illness Prevention

Heat illness is a serious medical condition resulting from the body’s inability to cope with a particular heat load and can progress quickly from mild symptoms to a serious and life-threatening illness.

Heat-related illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rash, or heat stroke, each with its own symptoms and treatments. Symptoms can range from profuse sweating to dizziness, cessation of sweating, and collapse.

The Heat Illness Prevention Standard (CCR, Title 8, Section 3395) requires employers to implement measures to prevent heat-related illnesses in all outdoor places of employment.  Employees covered under this standard are responsible for understanding and complying with the campus program policie and procedures outlined in the California State San Marcos (CSUSM) Heat Illness Prevention Program.

95+ Temperature Days

For days with temperatures above 95 degrees, supervisors must implement high-heat procedures:

  • Employee observation/monitoring:  Supervisor or designee directly observe employees.
  • Regularly communicate with solo employee by radio or mobile phone.  Remind them throughout their shift to hydrate.
  • Conduct pre-shift meetings before work starts to review prevention procedures, encourage hydration, and promote cool-down rests as necessary (Water, Rest & Shade).​
  • Encourage employees to contact emergency services (911) when needed.
  • Implement a mandatory buddy system.

Other tips to help prevent Heat Illness on all days with high temperatures

  1. Drink water often, even if you aren't thirsty.
    • It's best to drink a small amount of water often.
    • Drink at least one 8-ounce cup every 15 minutes during your work shift.
    • Avoid drinks such as sodas, coffee, energy drinks or alcoholic drinks (they dehydrate the body and make it more dangerous to work in the heat).
  2. Take breaks in the shade when to help cool down.
    • Employees are encouraged to take breaks when the temperature rises above 80 degrees.
    • This is in addition to the regularly scheduled breaks for meals and rest.
  3. Report heat symptoms early.  Watch out for co-workers and immediately inform supervisor(s) know if anyone exhibits heat stress symptoms.
  4. Know what to do in an emergency.  Contact UPD in an emergency, or supervisor for a non-emergency if anyone demonstrates heat stress related symptoms.
  5. Wear hats and light-colored clothing – they help block the sun.  Loose fitting, light-weight and light-colored cotton clothes, as well as a wide-brimmed hat, can help to block the sun and keep cooler

In addition, please consider utilizing the Heat Index mobile phone app from OSHA/NIOSH, which provides heat index data for specific location.​

The Heat Illness Prevention Information link contains a video that discusses related guidelines/procedures and other useful tips.

If you have any questions regarding Heat Illness Prevention, please contact SHS at x4502 or