Mitigating Heat Stress at the Workplace
Heat stress, dehydration and heat stroke can occur very quickly in summer months. If left untreated, heat exposure can be dangerous, even deadly, for your employees.
As summer approaches, it’s a good time to remind your workers of the dangers of summer heat and humidity.
Employees working outside all day are not the only ones who can suffer from heat stress. Heat exposures can happen to anyone exposed to high temperatures, but those with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, may be at increased risk. Excessive heat creates other hazards, including drowsiness, which makes workers inattentive and more accident prone.
Heat stress can happen quickly and can include cramps and exhaustion. Symptoms include a lack of sweating, hot, dry skin, rapid pulse and breathing, and mental symptoms ranging from confusion to convulsions. It’s imperative to quickly treat these symptoms, because heat stress can lead to permanent injury and even death.
Here are a few suggestions for avoiding heat stress.
• Stay hydrated. Remind employees to keep ahead of their urge to drink water. Once they experience thirst, they’re already on their way to dehydration.
• Rest frequently. Experts recommend a five-minute break in a cool spot every 30 to 60 minutes when working in the heat.
• Wear loose, light-colored clothing.
• Know the symptoms. If a co-worker feels “off,” check for signs of heat stress.
If your employees suspect someone has heat stress, move the person to a cool area, elevate their head and shoulders, and don’t hesitate to call 911. It’s better to be safe and allow experts to examine your employee. Make heat stress prevention part of your morning review.
Rettino Insurance is aware of this trend and can help you find suitable business insurance that protects you and your employees. Contact us to learn more