Tips For Preventing Heat Stress In Warm Work Environments
Summertime brings the benefits of warm weather, but it also comes with its own set of risks for those working in the summer heat.
It may come as a surprise that it’s not the sun that causes heat stroke, but heat and loss of liquids in the body, which means indoor and outdoor workers alike are at risk. Physical labor in extreme heat can endanger the health of employees, so employers should be prepared to respond with a heat stress prevention plan.
To assist in preventing work-related heat illness, Staples offers several tips to implement a summer safety plan:
• Think beyond water. Water isn’t enough if you’re working in the heat – make sure you’re offering the right beverages for your workers. While sports drinks seem like a good option, your employees lose fluid differently than athletes, so be mindful of drinks with electrolyte and potassium levels specific for their needs.
• Provide electrolytes beyond fluids. Offer dual-purpose hydrating snacks that taste good but also provide necessary electrolytes, such as popsicles which cool as they hydrate, and gummy snacks that keep electrolyte levels up throughout the day.
• Offer cooling gear. Cooling bandanas and vests are a great way to ensure your employees’ comfort in hot conditions. For outdoor workers, it’s important their vision is not impaired by the sunlight, so consider sunglasses that attach to the back of their hard hats.
• Educate your staff. Emphasize the need for workers to protect themselves and make products readily accessible to encourage use. Consider placing posters around the workplace that highlight the daily heat index and how much liquid workers should consume.
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