Avoiding dehydration in the summer heat
As summer has arrived, soon we will be forced to face the hottest months of the year. Unfortunately, individuals who must work outside or in extreme conditions are often given little protection from the heat, humidity and direct sunlight. What can workers do to stay safe?
From industrial workers being required to wear several layers of PPEs (personal protection equipment) to construction workers spending all day on an outdoor jobsite, heat-related illnesses can be a devastating, deadly reality. These illnesses can include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash. One of the biggest single preventative factors, OSHA cautions, is to remain hydrated.
According to OSHA, there are several groups of employees who are more at risk for dehydration than others, including:
- Those who work directly under the sun
- Those who work for hours at a time
- Those who are wearing PPE
Some of the prominent warning signs of dehydration can include:
- Excessive fatigue
- Difficulty focusing
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dry mouth
- Extreme thirst
- Darkly colored urine
Not only should workers monitor their health, but supervisors should be aware of these warning signs. In extreme heat, workers should be given ample break time and plenty of fluids to replenish perspiration. Remaining hydrated is a key factor in preventing illnesses such as heat stroke – and the devastating consequences that follow.
If you were injured at work or an accident can be traced to negligence or non-existent safety precautions, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.