Heat Protection on the Job

Heat spells ‘hazard on the job’ for workers in the summertime. With the warmer weather moving into our area, the risks for heat-related illnesses increase, especially for workers exposed to humid conditions while wearing bulky protective clothing.

So, how do you stay cool during the warmest months of the year? Would you know the signs if heat exhaustion suddenly hit?

Hydration is Key

The absolute best way to avoid the threat of heat-related illness while working is to stay hydrated. Water is still the go-to drink in extreme heat. As for the amount of water that you will need to stay hydrated, new research suggests we should go beyond the traditional 8 glasses per day rule. Recent studies are saying that on average, adult males need about 3.7 liters of fluids per day (nearly 16 cups), while ladies need roughly 2.7 liters (or 11 cups) per day.

5 nutrition textures (fruits and vegetables isolated on white)There are other food options for helping you stay hydrated, including:

  • Fruits & vegetables
  • Sports drinks
  • Smoothies

What to Wear?

OHSA advises workers to wear light, loose-fitting clothing while working in extreme heat. Tightly-woven clothing works best for blocking out light, and the fabric should contain as much cotton as possible.

You should also be wearing sunscreen to block harmful sun rays. A sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 blocks 93 percent of UV rays.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for extreme temperatures can include a vented hard hat with UV protection, reflective clothing, body-cooling vests, and water-cooled garments. Workers should also be aware that some equipment can actually increase the risk of heat stress.

Knowing the Signs

Signs of heat exhaustion include disorientation, stumbling, slurred speech and unresponsiveness.

Other symptoms include:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Heat rash
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Severe thirst

 

TP Mechanical puts Safety First, Always First. Read more about TP Mechanical’s commitment to Safety.

Keep Your Cool in Hot Weather

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

July and August are typically the hottest time of the year in most areas of the United States, and these months are often packed with long days at fairs and festivals, family vacations and numerous trips to the pool or lake. While you’re out having fun in the sun, watch for signs of heat illness.

bigstock-Heat-761281According to the National Weather Service, heat is one of the leading weather-related causes of death in the United States, with men more susceptible than women to heat illness because they sweat more. The elderly and children are also at higher risk if they are not careful in the sun.

Sweating is one of the body’s key reactions to heat, but if you lose fluid from sweat that isn’t replaced by drinking enough water, your body temperature can spike dangerously. When the temperature and humidity both rise, your body’s ability to cool itself is also affected because sweat can’t evaporate fast enough to cool your body.

Heat illness occurs along a spectrum, ranging from heat cramps and fainting to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which is a life-threatening condition. Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include headache, dizziness, cramping, excessive sweating, pale and clammy skin, and rapid but weak pulse. If someone is suffering heat exhaustion, get him or her out of direct sunlight so he or she can cool down and rehydrate.

Heat stroke occurs when the body becomes so hot it loses its ability to cool itself. Heat stroke is typified by headache, dizziness, confusion, hot and dry skin, throbbing pulse, shallow but rapid breathing, and sometimes unconsciousness. If someone is suffering heat stroke, get medical assistance immediately.

Because summertime includes many fun activities out of doors, you don’t want to miss out. Follow these guidelines to stay cool and safe in the sun:

  • Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you don’t feel thirsty, and limit intake of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
  • Wear a hat and lightweight clothing, preferably cotton.
  • Wear sunscreen to protect yourself from sunburn, which interferes with the body’s cooling mechanism.
  • Find shade or an air-conditioned building where you can take a break from the heat, especially during midday.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows open.
  • Let your body acclimate to the heat before attempting vigorous exercise.