“Heater on!” 6 Tips to Beat The Summer Heat

To maintain the workforce safe and productive work, employers must train employees and supervisors alike about the potential danger of extreme heat during the dog days of summer.

Long, hot summer days will be here before we know it. In fact, it is expected that most of the US is warmer than usual from June to August 2017, following the climate of the National Weather Service forecasting centre.

This means that heat safety should be a top priority in any work environment. To maintain a safe and productive talent, employers must train employees and managers, both about the potential danger of heat stress and heat stroke.

6 tips to beat the summer heat

Management of risks

Heat stress occurs when the body can not regulate sweat and body temperature rises to critical levels. Heat-related illness occurs when the body is not able to lose enough heat generated by physical and external work of heat sources. This requires emergency medical care can lead to seizures, exhaustion, stroke, and in severe cases of death. In 2014, 2,630 workers suffered from heat illness, and 18 died of heat stroke and related causes at work, according to OSHA.

The good news is that heat illness and death can be prevented. A key component of prevention is the provision of mandatory breaks or recovery periods for employees working at high temperatures.

Although OSHA does not define a “magic number” for the threshold temperature, it is usually necessary to take additional precautions when the temperature exceeds 85 degrees. Also, the heat index is a better option than just the temperature to assess the risk to the worker’s measure. The OSHA heat index takes into account the temperature and humidity of the account. The higher the heat index, the warmer it feels, and the sweat does not evaporate and cools the skin. It is also worth noting that exposure to direct sunlight can increase the heat index values to 15 degrees.

Even the work-oriented security of the best practices can sometimes be overlooked. Posting posters around the store or in the workplace, as a reminder of the inherent risks of their daily work, and what workers should do to comply with safety regulations, is a great goal in keeping the issue top-of-mind.

Tips for Staying Cool

While it’s true that in the summer months will bring a lot of sunlight and high temperatures, there are simple ways to help your employees avoid illness due to heat exposure. Here are six tips to beat the summer heat in the workplace represented.

  1. Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated will help your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature.
  2. Work while cooler. If workers spend a significant part of the shift in the open air or if the levels of the heat index increase during the peak hours in the room, the schedule changes when the sun is less intense, and the temperature is colder, when possible,
  3. Require mandatory breaks. Downtime in the summer allows workers to cool in the air conditional or shaded areas. Follow the rest instructions provided by OSHA as they increase the levels of the heat index.
  4. Smart Toilet. Use of excess clothing or tight clothing will not allow your body to cool properly. Loose, breathable cotton is best kept cool during the summer months of work. However, personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used. Additional breaks may need to be programmed to take into account the burden on the body, using additional protection at high temperatures.
  5. Protection from the sun. When outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and use a wide-range sunscreen with SPF for at least 30 years. Apply sunscreen generously and repeatedly every two hours, more often if you sweat.
  6. Be ready. Be aware of learning in the workplace and encourage employees to participate in health programs that improve physical fitness. The active lifestyle helps people to transfer heat and the sun better.

Read more: Workplace Safety 101

What to do in case of emergency

If you suspect that the worker suffered a heat stroke or stress, transfer the injured person to a cool, ventilated room and place the person at the feet of the exalted. Do not forget to check the rhythm of breathing. You should try to lower your body temperature with cold compresses or a fan. Invite the worker to drink water and watch for vital signs. If necessary, call 911 for emergency help.

Even a workplace safety program, and ultimately developed, will be ineffective without the involvement of employees. In fact, the 2017 Gallup study showed that employers with high-level employees had 70 percent fewer incidents than those with a lower level of commitment.

The same happens with heat associated with illnesses. Employees are often the first to recognise that an employee suffers from heat related illnesses. As you progress in the summer months, it is important for employees and their managers to minimise the occurrence of thermal illness-related communication and training is a key factor. This training involves working with new workers.

Safety at work is not static. There is always room for improvement, so brainstorm with your team about ways to advance to a higher level of security awareness for everyone, be frontline workers or office professionals.

To promote safety, encourage employees who follow their recommendations to stay safe and cool during the summer months. Focusing on safety, not just performance, you are rewarding the method of achievement, not the result.

It all begins with you. If compliance with safety standards and remains behind its employees to 100 percent, its employees will receive a signal. They must put safety first, even in conditions of growing production. Your staff will support him if he practices what he preaches.

Top 10 Tips for Outdoor Worker Safety

Outdoor working is a year-round phenomenon, with agriculture and construction among those sectors that see many employees working outdoors during the colder months. Along with the changing of the seasons, there are a lot of additional risk factors to be considered if part or the majority of your workforce operates outdoors, especially when working long shifts.

Several million people work outside every year. A number of other employees in diverse occupations work outside, such as individuals providing utility services or working in the hospitality sector.

There’s legislation in place to guarantee the rights of employees and responsibilities of employers when working outdoors.

Top 10 Tips for Outdoor Worker Safety

We also have compiled a list of the top 10 hints for outdoor worker safety…

1. Risk assessment

Identify issues and hazards and decide who is in danger, particularly in hot weather. Main factors include:

  • Working climate – including air temperature, movement, and proximity to heat sources when working.
  • Medical, genetic and other factors – a worker’s age and build may influence heat tolerance.

2. Training

Comprehensive training can help avoid issues with outdoor working. Employers should advise about the dangers of sun exposure, the risks of heat stress and give advice on sun protection and be assessing the skin frequently for damage.

3. Sun cream

Under strong sun rays, a skin may burn very quickly, possibly causing severe distress, sunstroke or even skin cancer. Sun cream should always be used by outdoor workers and reapplied according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Clothing

Outdoor workers should be counselled to keep covered up comfortably. It’s not unusual for employers to consider relaxing the usual dress code when it’s very hot outside, whilst hats should be used in relevant conditions to protect the head.

5. Hydration

Employers can encourage workers to keep well hydrated by providing cool water at work, combatting heat stress and overheating. Drinking water regularly will help prevent dehydration and is preferable to tea or coffee where hydration is concerned.

6. Shade

Periods from the sun can be encouraged by worker breaks in the shade where possible.

7. Allergies

Allergies can be triggered if workers are in an environment where they may suffer a reaction. Providing protective gear such as masks or eyeglasses in problem areas can help prevent issues and keep up productivity.

8. Keeping food cool

When workers bring their own food to work, it needs to be kept cool during warm conditions to prevent the possibility of illness and time off work resulting from contaminated food.

9. Work rate

Employers can schedule work so exposure to sunlight is minimised. Always know about the quantity of labour needed and the quantity of time required for it to be done.

10. Heat stress

Where possible, you should control workplace temperature inside. External employees need regular breaks, with access to colour, and great hydration to decrease the possibility of heat stress.

Also read: Working Safety Tips

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