10 Ways to Protect Yourself (and Your Employees) from the Heat
Protecting Your Employees from the Heat
These conditions are created when our body cannot regulate our heat production at a safe level. First, we need to make all your employees aware of the signs and symptoms of these conditions:
- Fatigue, weakness, fainting
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle cramps
- Sweating (absence or presence)
The physical condition of your employees can further escalate these conditions. Employees at a greater risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke are those with Heart disease, Skin diseases, Extensive burns, Endocrine disorders (hyperthyroidism, diabetes, etc.), High blood pressure, Overweight, Depression, Insomnia, and Fever. Over-the-counter drugs can also contribute to a greater risk for these conditions.
10 WAYS TO PREVENT HEAT-RELATED ILLNESSES
What can you do to prevent them?
- Limit your exposure to direct sunlight as much as possible.
- Drink more fluids (non-alcoholic); do not drink fluids that contain caffeine or large amounts of sugar. Sportsdrinks are good as they replace electrolytes and salt in your body.
- Avoid extremely cold fluids, as these can cause stomach cramps.
- Drink often throughout the day, 4-6 ounces at a time. WATER IS GOOD!
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that does not create a safety hazard for your work environment. If outdoors, wear a hat to reduce direct exposure to the sun.
- Ensure your employees wear sunglasses that provide UV protection and are impact resistant.
- Avoid hot foods and heavy meals. They add heat to your body.
- Drivers on routes should pack a cooler with water for the day. Also, keep an umbrella in the truck operating in extreme conditions (desolate, desert, etc.). This will allow you to move to an area with breeze and remain protected from the sun.
- If exposure to the sun is inevitable, apply generous amounts of sunscreen with a high SPF rating to the exposed skin.
- Make sure your truck is in excellent condition. A good pre-trip inspection is crucial in extreme heat conditions to prevent breakdowns. Otherwise, you may find yourself and your unit on the side of the road exposed to the intense heat.