Dining Services Heat Stress Plan

Dining Services Heat Stress Plan

Purpose and Guidelines

The purpose of this Dining Services Heat Stress Plan is to protect employees from the adverse effects of heat while they are performing their job in non-air conditioned facilities.  

Supervisors of Dining Services crews when measured wet bulb globe temperature index (WBGT) is not available can use the following guidelines to judge heat stress levels and break schedule.  As always, the workload of the employee and an individual’s susceptibility to heat-related illnesses must be considered.  Common sense should prevail.  

These guidelines are designed on the temperature of the ambient air as measured on a Taylor food probe thermometer and for individuals performing moderate activities.  The Dining Manager on duty will take temperature readings at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in the warmest area of the kitchen/service line and will document the reading on days suspected of causing heat stress; additional measurements may be taken if deemed necessary.  Environmental Health and Safety should be contacted when the ambient air temperature reaches 93ºF or above; at EHS discretion a WBGT measurement may be taken.

Guidelines for when WBGT Is Not Measured

Recommendations Ambient Air Temperature
  • Encourage short cooldown breaks
  • Encourage proper hydration with water
  • Chef's jacket is optional, alternative uniform top permitted
  • Encourage short cooldown breaks
  • Encourage proper hydration with water
  • Chef's jacket is optional, alternative uniform top permitted
  • Mandatory short cooldown breaks
  • Mandatory proper hydration with water
  • Chef's jacket is optional, alternative uniform top permitted

Departmental Responsibilities

  •  Inform supervisors who in turn inform each of their employees of the occurrence of heat stress conditions and the recommendations. If a heat stress level is reported it will continue until temperature measurements dictate otherwise.
  • On days likely to cause heat stress, schedule activities that cause a high metabolic workload or require working in an enclosed area in the coolest parts of the day.
  • Provide readily available fresh water in the work vicinity in order that the employees can frequently drink small quantities. 
  • Air movement provided by fans can significantly lower the level of heat stress.
  • Ensure rapid treatment or medical evaluation for employees reporting heat-related illnesses and complete an accident injury report form.
  • Contact the Environmental Health and Safety department if WBGT measurements are requested.

Employee Responsibilities

Recognize and report symptoms of heat-related illnesses:

  • Heat Rash: Skin rash (often numerous small reddish skin bumps) appear on arms, shoulders, chest, and behind knees.
  • Heat Cramps: Cramping of the abdomen, leg, and arm muscles, Caused by a salt imbalance because sweating causes a drain of the body fluids and salts, often hydration has not been adequate.
  • Heat Exhaustion: *Call for medical help. Pale clammy skin and profuse perspiration, tiredness, nausea, and dizziness, vomiting, fainting, and cramps. If vomiting occurs, stop fluids and take to the hospital.
  • Heat Stroke: *Life-threatening illness! Call for medical help immediately! Hot, flushed, and dry skin, increased body temperature, mental confusion and stumbling, eventually, convulsions and loss of consciousness can occur

Drink water frequently on heat stress days.  Approximately eight (8) oz. of fresh water every twenty (20) minutes is recommended.

Eat normal portions and use the regular meal schedule for meals and snacks to provide salt and electrolytes to replace those lost through sweating.


Revised 9/2014