Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Labor and Industry
Safety and Health Codes Board
Heat Illness Prevention Standard [16 VAC 25 ‑ 210]
Action NOIRA on Heat Illness Prevention
Comment Period Ended on 6/9/2021
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6/8/21  10:15 am
Commenter: Homan Wai, Virginia clinicians for climate action

worker heat protection

According to research conducted by Andreas D Flouris and colleagues at the University of Thessaly, nearly one third of the world’s populations is regularly exposed to conditions that exceed human thermoregulatory capacity, which can lead to dramatic increases in illness and death.1 Although this information can be difficult to digest, measurable action must be made in Virginia to ensure the health of its society. Workers can be at high risk of heat stress in a myriad of environments, including both indoor and outdoor settings. Anytime workers are exposed to hot temperatures, and especially when they are performing strenuous tasks in these conditions, excessive heat must be a key consideration.2 Flouris and colleagues results demonstrated that individuals working in heat stress conditions were roughly four times more likely to experience heat strain throughout of after their shifts when compared to individuals working in thermoneutral conditions.1 They also have a higher prevalence of acute kidney injury, a serious condition that can lead to chronic kidney disease. Illnesses influenced by heat stress, like chronic kidney disease, can carry with them substantial socioeconomic burdens and public health outcomes.1&3

  1.  Flouris, Andreas D., Petros C. Dinas, Leonidas G. Ioannou, Lars Nybo, George Havenith, Glen P. Kenny, and Tord Kjellstrom. "Workers' health and productivity under occupational heat strain: a systematic review and meta-analysis." The Lancet Planetary Health 2, no. 12 (2018): e521-e531.
  2.  Brenda Jacklitsch et al., Dept. of Health and Human Serv., Criteria For A Recommend Standard: Occupational Exposure to Heat and Hot Environments 33 (2016), (last accessed June 2, 2021).  
  3. Lameire, Norbert H., Arvind Bagga, Dinna Cruz, Jan De Maeseneer, Zoltan Endre, John A. Kellum, Kathleen D. Liu et al. "Acute kidney injury: an increasing global concern." The Lancet 382, no. 9887 (2013): 170-179.
CommentID: 98967