Summer is here along with picnics, lemonade and hot weather! But those high temperatures can pose a threat to some employees. If you want to stay healthy at work, be sure to STAY COOL.
Who Needs to Pay Attention to Hot Weather?
Every year, thousands of employees become sick, or even die, from heat-related illnesses. People who work outdoors are at the greatest risk, as are those who work in hot and/or humid environments. Although advances in cooling have improved conditions in factories, warehouses, and restaurant kitchens, employees should still be on the lookout for signs of overheating.
What Can You Do to Stay Safe?
- Drink plenty of water throughout your shift to stay hydrated
- If possible, dress in light, loose-fitting clothing
- When outdoors, wear a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses to reduce your exposure to the sun
- Take regular breaks in a cooler place
- If you start to feel too warm, stop working and use a cold compress to bring your temperature down
- Recognize the symptoms of dangerous conditions like heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and if necessary, call 911.
What Are the Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses?
Heat Stress – Heat stress occurs when the body can’t cool down. Symptoms include severe thirst, muscle cramps, difficulty concentrating and possibly a rash.
Heat Exhaustion – Someone suffering from heat exhaustion will look extremely sick. This illness can develop within a few minutes or over the course of a few days. Symptoms include sleepiness, weakness, feeling faint or dizzy, heavy sweating, intense thirst, nausea, headache, muscle cramps and a fast pulse.
Heat Stroke – Heat stroke is deadly and requires immediate medical attention. Often the person is confused and unaware their body temperature is dangerously high. Therefore, co-workers need to step in and help. Heat stroke begins with the same symptoms as heat exhaustion, but left untreated, the person may become disoriented, experience seizures and eventually lose consciousness.
How Does OHSA Protect Workers?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not require companies to maintain a certain workplace temperature, nor do they set time limits for heat exposure. However, under the General Duty Clause, section 5(a)(1), businesses must provide an environment, “free from recognizable hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employees.” uses this clause to issue citations to organizations for “exposing employees to heat stress conditions.” If you have serious concerns about your place of employment, visit the website to learn what you can do to keep yourself and your colleagues safer.
Are You Looking for a Cooler Job This Summer?
If you are hoping for healthier working conditions, a different shift or better work-life balance, United Talent is here for you! We match light industrial workers with top companies. Search our available openings and find a new and exciting opportunity today!