Even though the Occupational Safety and Health Administration lacks a regulation that specifically addresses heat stress, inspectors can and do cite employers for exposing workers to dangerous conditions. As summer's hot weather approaches, OSHA is promoting its "Water, Rest, Shade" campaign. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has renewed its call for a standard on occupational exposure to heat, saying high heat can result in injury or death as well as reduced productivity.

In the absence of a more specific standard, OSHA inspectors can cite employers who subject their employees to dangerous conditions and rely on a regulation that requires them to provide a workplace "free from recognizable hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious harm to employees." Courts have interpreted this "general duty clause" to mean an employer has a legal obligation to provide a workplace free of hazards, including heat-related hazards.

If an employee needs medical attention for heat stress, that would be marked as an illness on the OSHA 300 Log.

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