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PROPERTY & CASUALTY
JUL 15, 2019
Keep Cool, Stay Safe: Tips for High Temperatures
Summer is here, and the picture is clear: You’re at the beach on a warm summer day. It’s 85 degrees and sunny and there’s a light breeze blowing through your hair. Kids are running into the lake while teenagers are lying on the beach, napping in the sand.
It’s a perfect day.
What isn’t perfect, however, is when the temperature raises two degrees, the breeze disappears, and the children forget to drink water while the teenagers get sunburnt.
Summer offers a lot of opportunities for fun in the sun, but it’s important to stay safe during those warm months.
The heat is dangerous for everyone, but even more so for workers who have to spend hours at a time outside. Occupations in which you have to work in the heat make you more susceptible to heat related illness, so here are some tips to make sure you stay safe while soaking in the sun’s rays.
Staying hydrated is important all year long, but especially so during the summer. When you’re hydrated, your body is more consistently going to be in a state of homeostasis. You’ll be less susceptible to heat stroke and you’ll feel better all around. Working under the sun’s rays is tiring, so make sure you replenish your body and drink plenty of water throughout the day. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends having workers drink a cup of water every 15 minutes, even when they’re not thirsty, to prevent dehydration.
Resting throughout the day is an important part of staying safe in the heat. Overworking yourself will result in you feeling sick, so take short breaks throughout the day to disperse work more effectively and ensure that you never get too warm. Take breaks in shaded areas periodically to allow yourself to cool down more before getting back to work. As an employer, it is your responsibility to make sure workers are receiving adequate rest time; OSHA recommends a minimum of 5 minutes of rest when you start to feel warm.
Protecting your skin with sunscreen is more than a cosmetic concern. While avoiding wrinkles and sun spots is a plus, sunscreen offers more protection in hot temperatures. It’s important to avoid sunburns because in addition to added discomfort, they reduce the body’s ability to cool down body temperatures and can lead to dehydration. Make sure you reapply as often as the package says, and look for sun screens with UAV protection.
Work when it’s cool
If possible, avoid working during the middle of the day. Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. the sun is most directly overhead, resulting in hotter temperatures. Working during these hours can be dangerous, so try to work earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon to avoid heat related illness.
Let someone know
If you start to feel dizzy, light headed, or have an elevated heartbeat, let someone know. It is important to make sure your employer knows that you might need to rest or, in severe cases, receive medical attention.
This summer, beat the heat and take all the proper measurements in order to stay safe in high temperatures.