The month of August which is usually the hottest part of the year for us in Southeast Texas. Most of our employees work outside so being aware of heat and working in the heat is important. Not only is it important for your personal safety, it is important to pay attention to your coworkers’ activity on the job.
Safety starts before you even get to work. During the summer months it is helpful to pay attention to your diet and fluid intake throughout the day. This can even start the night before a workday, and drinking enough water to stay hydrated which helps your body in regulating its temperature. do you hydration can even cause you to sunburn more easily. Fluids are not the only way to stay hydrated, having a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables also helps in staying healthy too. No matter your activity level, drink water throughout the day. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty because that means you may already be dehydrated.
OSHA provides information to help identify heat related illnesses. There are several different types of challenges:
- Heat stroke, the most serious form of heat-related illness, happens when the body becomes unable to regulate its core temperature. Sweating stops and the body can no longer rid itself of excess heat. Signs include confusion, loss of consciousness, and seizures. Heat stroke is a medical emergency that may result in death! Call 911 immediately.
- Heat exhaustion is the body's response to loss of water and salt from heavy sweating. Signs include headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, thirst, and heavy sweating.
- Heat cramps are caused by the loss of body salts and fluid during sweating. Low salt levels in muscles cause painful cramps. Tired muscles—those used for performing the work—are usually the ones most affected by cramps. Cramps may occur during or after working hours.
- Heat rash, also known as prickly heat, is skin irritation caused by sweat that does not evaporate from the skin. Heat rash is the most common problem in hot work environments.
They also provide a chart for identifying symptoms of heat related illness which you can view at: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatstress/heat_illnesses.html
This information is useful for personal health through the summer along with any work out of doors. Take this information along for a summer vacation, gardening at home, or working on a job site. Additionally, remember to watch out for the safety of those around you for the safety of all.
One Team. One Vision. One Goal. - Everyone Goes Home Safe!