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Coping with Severe Heat and Humidity

Wednesday, July 7, 2010
CPM 2011-12
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
Chief Human Capital Officers
From: 
John Berry, Director
Subject: 
Coping with Severe Heat and Humidity

As we continue to experience severe heat and humidity in the Washington, DC, area, as well as in many other parts of our Nation, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), reminds Federal agencies of the importance of being proactive in protecting the health and well being of our employees.  As you know, our employees are the Federal Government’s most important asset, and we should take all available steps to ensure they are protected during potentially dangerous heat waves that are likely to continue throughout the summer.

As you consider measures to take for your employees, especially those who work outdoors, there are two matters I would like to call to your attention.

Obvious to all of us will be the need for employees to remain adequately hydrated; providing immediate and ready access to potable drinking water and other liquids will ensure their health and well-being. 

Second, various Federal health authorities and local governments provide information and advice on the best ways to cope with severe weather conditions to protect ourselves and our families.  The following links to official Federal Government information dealing with heat-related risks may be helpful:

www.cdc.gov/niosh/blog/nsb071408_summerheat.html - on the website for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services

www.weather.gov/om/heat/ and www.weather.gov/om/heat/heat_wave.shtml - on the website for National Weather Service (NWS), which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce

www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FACT_SHEETS&p_id=167 – on the website for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Department of Labor

Your continued diligence in ensuring the health and safety of our workforce is much appreciated.

cc:        Human Resources Directors