10 Steps to Prevent Heat Illness

As we advance through the summer season, there is more to be distressed over than when you’re going to make it to the beach – especially when you’re on the job!Many people know and understand the effects that heat exhaustion may have on them and their health. Generally the idea of rehydration is practiced among most people and workers in the midst of overwhelmingly hot days. However, there are many other steps that can contribute to preventing heat illness. We are currently in a range of months that have been noted to be the most sweltering time of the year. Those residing in the New England area, as well as in the west, the Northern Plains and even Florida, the hottest days of the year tend to be the middle-end of July, to early August.In past years, OSHA has recorded worker numbers as high as 2,630 who have suffered from effects of heat illness, and even up to 18 deaths in 2014.“Workers at greater risk of heat stress include those who are 65 years of age or older, are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications that may be affected by extreme heat” (www.cdc.gov/niosh).Luckily, OSHA has set standards and suggestions for employers to follow to ensure the safety of employees and to protect them from the scorches of summer.“Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards. This includes protecting workers from extreme heat” (www.osha.gov). Hydration will always be the most crucial aspect to avoiding heat exhaustion, but try keeping these other important and helpful steps in mind!Here is a list of 10 things to know to help prevent heat illness while working:Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.Rest in the shade to cool down.Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.Provide Heat Stress TrainingLearn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.Keep an eye on fellow workers.”Easy does it” on your first days of work in the heat. You need to get used to it.Reduce metabolic demands on the job.Use special tools to minimize manual strain.Encourage wearing specific clothing, such as protective eye-wear, sweatbands, vented gloves and light clothing.The sear of the sun may be great, but by applying these safety tips and others, you can help protect your employees and yourself against heat illness/exhaustion. To find out more information about the dangers of heat illness and how to prevent it, visit osha.gov or niosh.gov. Continue to have a safe, successful, and shaded summer and remember to contact United Alliance Services Corporation for information on workplace safety programs and help with OSHA related issues.