When you work outdoors, you face potentially dangerous conditions when the mercury climbs. Even working a few short hours in extreme heat can cause serious and even life-threatening issues. It’s important to take control of your workday as best you can to keep yourself safe and avoid overheating. Use these tips to stay cool this month.
Understand the Signs of a Heat Emergency
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, headache, cramps, excessive sweating, nausea, vomiting, weakness and an elevated heart rate. Heat stroke symptoms include hot, red skin, fainting, confusion and convulsions. Any time an employee faints from heat, it should be considered an emergency and the employee should be taken to the hospital immediately or a co–worker should call 911.
Take Your Breaks
Breaks are extremely important for your health. You need to consume around one cup of water every 20 minutes to stay hydrated in high heat. It is also good practice to drink some electrolyte beverages after you’ve been outside for a few hours. So, don’t be a martyr; take your breaks, rest for a few moments and stay hydrated.
Take Opportunities to Cool Down
If you feel yourself overheating, quietly step aside, tell your supervisor and go sit in the shade, an air–conditioned car or an air–conditioned building until you cool down. Your bosses should be providing you with opportunities to cool off during the day, but don’t be afraid to speak up if you start to feel weak, faint or sick to your stomach.
Wear the Right Gear
In hot temperatures, protective equipment and clothing like air-cooled garments, hats, vests with ice packs, and heat-reflective clothing are extremely important. It is also good practice to use cooling towels. Cooling towels look like chamois when dry, but when wet, they cool. Place the towel around your neck to help beat the heat.
Be Aware That New Jobs Can Make You Vulnerable
If you are new to working outdoors or if it has been a while since you’ve worked outdoors, it’s important to know this: Nearly 1/3 of heat-related health issues occur during the first three days on the job. If you have not worked outdoors in more than one week, it takes time to adjust to the conditions.
More resources are available on OSHA’s website. Their motto, “Water. Rest. Shade.” can prevent heat illness and save lives.
Looking for a New Job? Contact Carlton Staffing
Carlton Staffing in Houston is committed to providing safe and meaningful job opportunities for talented and hardworking people. Browse our current openings or get in touch today to learn more. And this month, we are giving away free cooling towels to help you stay comfortable on the job. We look forward to working with you!