Extreme Weather and Public Health

Guidance and Resources for Outdoor Workers in the Heat (GROWTH) Toolkit

Check out the Trends in Morbidity and Mortality from Exposure to Excessive Natural Heat in Arizona, 2012 Report. The report contains the latest information on natural/environmental heat-related deaths and illnesses in Arizona.

Outdoor workers spend more time in heat which makes them more vulnerable to heat illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 1992-2006, 423 workers in agricultural and nonagricultural industries died from exposure to heat; this is an average of 30 deaths per year. Fortunately, heat illness can be prevented by following safety tips. The Arizona Department of Health Services created the Guidance and Resources for Outdoor Workers in the Heat (GROWTH) toolkit. The toolkit provides outdoor workers and employers with resources to prevent, recognize, and treat heat illness utilizing information developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA).

What is Heat Illness?

Heat illness occurs when the body becomes too hot and is no longer able to regulate its own temperature. There are several types of heat illness; three of the most common are heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

Ways to Prevent Heat Illness:

  • Drink 8-10 ounces of water every 15 minutes. Drink before, during, and after working outdoors.
  • Rest often.
  • Seek shade.
  • Schedule more strenuous tasks for cooler parts of the day (early morning and evening hours).
  • Wear light-weight, loose-fitting clothing, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Remember to use sunscreen.
  • Talk to your employer about their heat emergency plan.

The toolkit includes:

Stay Informed: Sign Up for Heat Alerts!

The Extreme Weather & Public Health Program values your partnership and your time. In an effort to be more efficient, we are changing the system we use to communicate health related information to you. This list will be used for Heat Alerts; it will not replace but will enhance the person to person contact you have come to expect. Registering for this email communication will allow us to keep you up to date on information that supports your efforts to improve the health of all Arizonans.

To add yourself to this list please do the following:

  • Visit the ADHS Communications sign up page
  • Enter your email address and click "Continue"
  • Click the box next to "Heat Alerts"
  • Feel free to choose additional topics you would like to receive info on from ADHS

Additional Resources

Note: Files are PDF format unless otherwise stated.