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Too HOT for you?

- August 2, 2018 by Guest Bloggers (View all posts by Guest)

Your crew has been on the job since 7:00 am. At 11:00 am, it’s as hot as the blazes out there. One of your crew members complains of  being lightheaded. You’re pretty sure that it’s just because he didn’t eat enough this morning. But by noon, he’s excessively sweating, his breathing quickens, and now he complaining of nausea.  What is going on here?

Your crew member might be experiencing heat exhaustion.

When people are exposed to hot and/or humid work environments, especially when they do not replenish their body with fluids, heat exhaustion can occur. As the symptoms worsen, heat stroke can occur. If untreated, this condition could become life threatening. This is nothing to play around with!

What can you do to prevent the problem in the first place?

Here are some tips:

  • Never pass off an employee complaint of illness even if only person is complaining.  Not everybody reacts to heat the same.
  • Provide/encourage everyone to drink lots of water. Your crews should be hydrating every 30 minutes or so.
  • Discourage caffeinated beverages and alcohol when high temps are expected.
  • Allow your crews (especially new hires) to start work slowly. Let them get conditioned to the heat and humidity.
  • Allow extra breaks in extreme weather.
  • Encourage your crew member to get a full night’s rest.  Fatigue is a contributor to heat illness.
  • Remind employees to wear light weight and light colored clothing. (Remember, light colors reflect light while dark colors tend to absorb heat).
  • Require that all breaks be taken in a air conditioning vehicle or in the shade.

Do you have any other ideas to share, please comment below.

 

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