Those who work outdoors may not look forward to summer the way the rest of us do! This summer is predicted to be hot and steamy. People who work outside must be prepared and take precautions to stay safe in the heat. Here are 7 tips for beating the heat at work this summer:
- Drink plenty of water: Pre-hydrate before heading outside. Once working, don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Carry a water bottle of cool water with you. Avoid ice-cold drinks that cause the blood vessels to constrict; cool water is absorbed much faster by the body. Limit caffeine and alcohol.
- Wear protective clothing: Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing in light colors that reflect the sun are best.
- Slow down: Pace yourself and take it easy. Know your limits and take frequent breaks when possible.
- Use damp towels: A damp rag around your neck or on your face will help to bring down your body temperature. (Keep refilling that water bottle and use that to keep your towel damp.)
- Cover up: Use sunscreen and wear a hat. Of course, avoiding direct sun is best, but when that isn’t possible, avoid sunburn by covering exposed body parts with clothing and/or sunscreen.
- Eat Smaller Meals: Foods that are high in fiber and natural fruits or juices are best. Avoid high-protein meals before working outdoors in the heat and sun.
- Have an emergency action plan: When there is a problem, make sure you have a plan in place. Post emergency numbers and the location of the nearest ER, Urgent Care or hospital. Make sure that employees know the emergency plan.
Incorporating these safety measures into your Employee Safety Program or Employee Recognition Programs will let your employees know that their safety is a priority and encourage and reward compliance.
Here is a helpful infographic from the Center for Disease Control on the signs of heat-related illnesses: