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Heat Illness Prevention Program

Learn how to control the risk of heat-induced illness, train workers to protect themselves, recognize symptoms, and respond should a heat illness emergency occur.

Have you experienced heat stress? It occurs when the body is under stress from overheating. 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. 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.

Employees covered under this standard are responsible for understanding and complying with the campus program policies and procedures outlined in the UC San Diego HIP Program Manual.

The following procedures below describe the minimum essential heat illness prevention measures for the UC San Diego main campus location. Depending on the presence of certain risk factors, greater caution and protective measures beyond what is listed here may be needed to protect employees. For all other locations, supervisors are responsible for developing work-site specific plans to be reviewed with employees prior to commencing work.

Monitor the weather

Supervisors must monitor the weather in advance and throughout the work shift to evaluate the risk level for heat illness by one or more of the following methods:

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Weather Channel TV Network
  • National Weather Service Phone Number (See CA numbers below):
    • Eureka (707) 443 – 7062
    • Hanford (559) 584 – 8047
    • Los Angeles (805) 988 – 6610 (#1)
    • Sacramento (916) 979 – 3038
    • San Diego (619) 297 – 2107 (#1)
    • San Francisco (831) 656 – 1725 (#1)

Temperature and humidity forecasts should be compared to the NWS Heat Index.

Access to drinking water

Plumbed drinking water which is fresh, pure, and suitably cool, is available to campus employees at various campus hydration stations. The location of all hydration stations can be found under UC San Diego Maps (find Services tab and select Hydration Stations).

Shade provisions

Supervisors must ensure adequate shade when temperatures reach or exceed 80°F. Adequate shade on campus is readily available on campus via nearby buildings and tree cover.

For extended work or projects under direct sun, supervisors should provide other means of shade such as a tent or canopy to be located as close as practicable to the areas where employees are working. Shade must be large enough to comfortably accommodate all employees throughout work shift or rest periods.


Employees shall be closely monitored by a supervisor or designee during a heatwave. (A heatwave describes any day in which the predicted high temperature for the day will be at least 80°F and at least 10°F higher than the average high daily temperature in the preceding five days.)

An employee who has been newly assigned to a high-heat area shall be closely observed by a supervisor or designee for the first 14-days of the employee’s employment.

Emergency response

Effective communication must be maintained at the work site so that employees can contact a supervisor or emergency services when necessary. A cellphone or other electronic device may be used for this purpose only if reception in the area is reliable.

Employees experiencing heat illness symptoms must be monitored and shall not be sent home without being offered on-site first aid. If there are signs or symptoms of severe heat illness, or heat stroke, the following emergency response procedures must be implemented:

  • Contact emergency medical services by dialing 9-1-1 or campus police dispatch at 858-534-HELP (4357).
  • Tell the dispatcher this is a heat-related illness and provide clear and precise directions to the location.
  • Administer appropriate first aid until medical responders arrive.
  • Notify your supervisor and report the incident to the UC San Diego Worker’s Compensation group immediately at 858-534-3454.

High-Heat procedures

High-heat procedures are only required for workers who perform jobs in the industries listed below, however, it is strongly recommended that similar procedures be implemented for non-required industries to reduce the risk of heat-related illness whenever possible:

  • Agriculture (employees employed in agriculture must take a minimum 10-minute preventative cool-down rest period every two hours.)
  • Construction
  • Landscaping (except for employment by an employer who operates a fixed establishment where the work is to be performed and where drinking water is plumbed)
  • Oil and gas extraction
  • Transportation (except for employment that consists of operating an air-conditioned vehicle and does not include loading and unloading.

The following high-heat procedures must be implemented when temperatures meet or exceed 95°F:

  • Conduct pre-shift meeting with staff to review HIP plan, encourage employees to drink plenty of water and to remind employees of their right to take a cool-down rest break when necessary.
  • Maintain effective communication and observe employees for signs of heat illness throughout the work shift by one or more of the following:
    • Supervisor/designee observation (minimum 1 supervisor per 20 employees) 
    • Mandatory buddy system
    • Regular communication by radio or cellphone
    • Other

Safety training

  • Complete the Heat Illness eCourse on UC Learning Center.
  • To schedule in-person group training, contact EH&S at


Questions? Contact EH&S Occupational Health & Hygiene Services at

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