Help avoid heat related illness:
tips to stay safer while working
As summer begins, it is especially important to pay attention to high temperatures when working outside. People who work outdoors are vulnerable to extreme heat, which can result in serious injury or even death.
In order to combat heat illness for outdoor workers, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released an application for smartphones that allows workers to calculate the heat index based on their current location. Depending on what heat index the app reads, it will then display a risk level and tips to protect workers from heat-related illness. The app is available for free download on both Apple and Android devices.
In addition to the app, here are several tips to consider when working in the heat:
- Don’t wait to drink. Drinking small amounts of fluids every 15-20 minutes throughout the day is more beneficial than drinking large amounts when thirsty.
- Avoid ice-cold drinks. Drinks that are too cold cause the blood vessels in the stomach to tighten, reducing the rate of fluid absorption.
- Limit caffeine intake. Drinking caffeine before or during a shift can contribute to dehydration by increasing water loss.
- Take enough meal breaks. Food is one of the main ways to replace lost fluids. Eating food also increases thirst response, which encourages drinking more.