As warmer summer weather approaches, we look forward to backyard barbecues and outdoor swimming pools but it also means that those who work outside need to prepare for hot working conditions. Employers should establish a complete heat illness prevention program which includes providing workers with water, modified work schedules as necessary to avoid the hottest part of the day and training for workers about the symptoms of heat-related illnesses. To keep yourself healthy and safe during the warmer months, be mindful of the following things throughout your workday and make sure other team members do the same.
Drink plenty of water and avoid dehydrating liquids like coffee, tea and soda. Try to drink water every 15 minutes, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Since you are likely sweating, you should be drinking more
Wear protective clothing
Lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing helps protect against heat. Change clothing if it gets completely saturated. Long sleeves and a hat will help protect your face and arms from the sun.
Slow down and work at an even pace. Know your own limits and ability to work safely in heat. Schedule frequent breaks and take time for water breaks in a shaded or air-conditioned area.
Avoid getting sunburn
Use sunscreen and wear a hat if working outside. If possible, avoid direct sun exposure by working in the shade.
Eat smaller & lighter meals
Eat light and refreshing fruits and vegetables and avoid hot, heavy foods that can leave you feeling sluggish in the heat.
The hot weather can take a lot out of you and your team members so be aware of the signs of heat-related illness. The best way to protect yourself is prevention so incorporate the steps above into your summer routine!