Heat Stress, Shade, and Bugs

Managing Heat Stress, Providing Shade, and Controlling Bugs


Every year, workers face the risk of illness and death due to extreme heat or humid conditions. The construction industry bears the brunt of heat-related worker deaths, accounting for over 40 percent of cases. However, workers in all fields are vulnerable. To reduce the risk, OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention campaign emphasizes three key factors: Water, Rest, and Shade. Providing workers with access to shade is crucial in preventing heat-related illnesses. Tents and shade canopies are effective engineering controls that offer a place for workers to rest or perform tasks away from direct sunlight. Employers can ensure sufficient shaded areas by investing in larger canopies and adding walls. In addition to heat, workers also have to deal with mosquitoes. Mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria pose a significant threat. Employers and workers should take measures to protect themselves, such as using EPA-registered insect repellents, wearing protective clothing, and removing standing water. By being proactive and following safety recommendations, workers can reduce the risk to themselves and their colleagues. goSafe offers a wide range of products, including portable tents, accessories, and insect repellents, to ensure worker safety and protection.

Full Article: Managing Heat Stress, Providing Shade, and Controlling Bugs

Workers at Risk of Heat-Related Illness and Injury

Every year, workers face the dangers of extreme heat and humidity while on the job. Sadly, many lose their lives, and thousands become ill due to these harsh conditions. The construction industry is particularly vulnerable, accounting for over 40 percent of heat-related worker deaths. However, workers in all fields are at risk, regardless of age or physical condition.

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Reducing the Risk

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has implemented the Heat Illness Prevention campaign to combat heat-related illnesses and injuries. The campaign focuses on three key principles: Water, Rest, and Shade. In previous blog posts, we have discussed the importance of hydration and rest. Today, we will explore the role of tents and shade canopies in reducing the incidence of heat-related illnesses.

Creating a Shaded Environment

Tents and shade canopies provide workers with a designated area to rest or perform certain work activities in a shaded environment, away from direct sunlight. By implementing these engineering controls, employers can effectively reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses among their workforce.

Key Considerations:

  • The position of the sun will affect the location and area of shade provided by tents and canopies throughout the day.
  • Tents and canopies offer the most substantial shaded area when the sun is directly overhead.
  • Employers should consider purchasing larger canopies and adding walls to maximize the shaded area.

goSafe offers a variety of portable tents and accessories that are ideal for creating a shaded area on job sites.

Dealing with Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Working in hot and humid conditions is already difficult, but the presence of mosquitos further complicates matters. This becomes especially relevant for outdoor workers on the Gulf Coast during the summer months. Mosquitos not only cause irritation but can also transmit dangerous diseases, such as Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria.

Both employers and workers must take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases. While some may experience mild, short-term illnesses after a mosquito bite, others may face severe or long-term illnesses. In worst-case scenarios, these diseases can even result in death.

Recommendations for Workers

Workers can reduce their risk of mosquito-borne diseases by following these recommendations:

  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone.
  • Wear clothing that covers hands, arms, legs, and other exposed skin. Hats with mosquito netting can protect the face and neck.
  • Eliminate standing water, as it serves as a breeding ground for mosquitos (e.g., tires, buckets, barrels).
  • If workers develop symptoms of a mosquito-borne disease, they should promptly inform their supervisor and seek medical attention.
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Stay Protected with goSafe

Workers must remain vigilant and prioritize their safety on the job. By following the recommendations mentioned above, not only can they protect themselves, but they can also ensure the well-being of everyone on-site. At goSafe, we offer a wide assortment of insect protection for skin, clothing, and gear. Check out our range of products specifically designed to keep you safe from insects.

Summary: Managing Heat Stress, Providing Shade, and Controlling Bugs

Every year, numerous workers suffer from heat-related illnesses and injuries while working in extreme heat or humid conditions. The construction industry is particularly vulnerable, accounting for over 40 percent of heat-related worker deaths. However, workers in every field are at risk. To reduce the likelihood of heat-related illnesses, OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention campaign emphasizes three key principles: Water, Rest, and Shade. Providing workers with access to tents and shade canopies, which offer a protected area away from direct sunlight, is an effective way to minimize heat-related health issues. Additionally, it is crucial to protect workers from mosquito-borne diseases by using EPA-registered insect repellents, wearing appropriate clothing, and eliminating standing water. By implementing these recommendations, workers can minimize the risks and ensure a safe working environment. Explore goSafe’s range of portable tents and accessories to create shaded areas on job sites and find protection from insects for the skin, clothing, and gear.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Frequently Asked Questions: Heat Stress, Shade, and Bugs

Heat Stress

Q: What is heat stress and how does it affect the body?

A: Heat stress occurs when the body’s core temperature rises beyond its normal range, leading to various physiological reactions. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or even heatstroke. It affects the body by causing dehydration, muscle cramps, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and in severe cases, organ failure.

Q: How can I prevent heat stress?

A: To prevent heat stress, it is vital to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid or limit the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and sugary beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, and breathable clothing, and try to schedule outdoor activities during cooler hours of the day. Taking frequent breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas can also help prevent heat stress.

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Q: What are the signs of heat stress in the body?

A: Signs of heat stress include excessive sweating, muscle cramps, fatigue, headache, dizziness, fainting, nausea or vomiting, rapid heartbeat, and shallow breathing. It’s crucial to recognize these signs and take immediate measures to cool down and rehydrate to prevent further complications.


Q: Why is seeking shade important during hot weather?

A: Seeking shade during hot weather is essential as it provides a respite from the direct sunlight and helps to reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses. It helps to lower the body’s temperature by preventing excessive heat absorption and reduces the risk of sunburn. Shade also allows the body to cool down naturally, decreasing the chances of heat stress.

Q: How can I create shade in my outdoor spaces?

A: You can create shade in your outdoor spaces by using various methods such as installing umbrellas, canopies, or awnings. Planting trees or using tall shrubs can provide natural shade. Utilizing outdoor shade structures like pergolas or gazebos is another effective way to create shade. Additionally, using shade sails or curtains can help block direct sunlight while allowing air circulation.

Q: What are the benefits of spending time in shaded areas?

A: Spending time in shaded areas provides several benefits. It protects your skin from harmful UV rays, reducing the risk of sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer. Shaded areas offer a cooler environment that helps your body regulate its temperature, preventing heat-related illnesses. Furthermore, shaded spaces provide a more comfortable and enjoyable outdoor experience, encouraging outdoor activities.


Q: How can I protect myself from bugs while outdoors?

A: To protect yourself from bugs while outdoors, it is advisable to wear long sleeves, pants, and closed-toe shoes. Apply insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or other recommended ingredients to exposed skin. Use bug screens on windows and doors to keep insects outside. Avoid wearing strong perfumes or brightly colored clothing that may attract bugs.

Q: What are some common insect-borne diseases I should be aware of?

A: Some common insect-borne diseases include malaria, dengue fever, Zika virus, Lyme disease, West Nile virus, and encephalitis. These diseases are transmitted through insect bites and can have severe health consequences. It is essential to take necessary precautions to minimize the risk of exposure to such diseases, especially in areas known for their prevalence.

Q: How can I prevent insects from entering my living spaces?

A: To prevent insects from entering your living spaces, ensure all windows and doors are properly screened and sealed. Eliminate any standing water sources around your home as they attract mosquitoes. Keep food items securely stored in airtight containers, clean up spills promptly, and maintain a clean living environment. Regularly inspect and seal any cracks or openings that may serve as entry points for insects.

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