This week marked the beginning of summer, and many regions are already dealing with warmer than average temperatures. If you are one of the many individuals who work outside, make sure you know how you can stay safe in the heat. Exposure to extreme temperatures can cause serious illness, so make sure you pay attention to these safety tips.
1. Drink plenty of water. Make sure you are drinking throughout the day, even if you aren’t thirsty. Avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages when you’re going to be working in the heat. Drinking water approximately every 15 minutes will ensure that you stay hydrated, and avoid heat exhaustion.
2. Dress appropriately. Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing when you know you will have to spend the day outdoors. Be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.
3. Take breaks in the shade. Be sure you’re giving your body a chance to cool down. Take short breaks throughout the day. If possible, get out of the direct sunlight while you’re resting between tasks. Employers may try to modify summer work schedules so employees can avoid working in the hottest parts of the day.
4. Know the symptoms of heat illness. Workers who experience heat illness are not only putting their own health in danger, but they also increase the risk of workplace accidents. If you know the signs of what to look for, such as dizziness, headache, and confusion, you’ll know what to do if heat illness occurs.
5. Have a plan for an emergency. If you or one of your coworkers shows signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, act quickly. Immediately try to cool your body with shade, cool water, fanning, etc. If symptoms don’t improve, seek medical attention to find out what to do next.
At Penmac, we are grateful for our hard workers who are dedicated to getting the job done in rain or shine. If you would like more information about heat related illnesses, and things you can do to prevent them, learn more from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.