Search In Progress
Processing your RequestYour personalized product is being created. This may take several moments.
Please do not hit the back button on your browser or refresh this page until this process is complete.
Are YOU Ready for the HEAT?
For the safety professional, this is an extremely important and busy time, as they are looking to hit the ground running with the increased workload and larger workforce. As these folks navigate through the seemingly endless days of training, site safety plans, OSHA updates and countless other tasks on their plate, they also need to find the time to ensure their workers are outfitted with the proper safety and PPE to complete their given tasks in as safe and effective way as possible. It is here, as harnesses, cut gloves, respirators, hi-viz, head/face/eye protection, etc. are inventoried that a silent killer is sometimes overlooked, Heat Stress.
Everyone knows that humans cool themselves by sweating; sweat evaporates and takes heat with it to keep the body cool. When working outside in the heat, increased humidity can limit this process, and when coupled with the additional PPE that workers utilize and/or limited air flow, the results can be severe. Even the early stages of heat exhaustion or heat stroke can cause a lack of focus to the task(s) at hand, thus increasing the likelihood of accidents at the job site. In some cases, it can even be fatal.
Some very simple things that can be incorporated to help prevent, or at least minimize the possibility of heat stress are as follows:
• Drink cool water…often! At least 1 pint of water/hour is needed per worker. Avoid anything that has caffeine or alcohol as these only serve to dehydrate you further.
• Incorporate fans onto the job site. Moving air, even if warm, is always better than stagnant air as the movement helps the body in the evaporating process.
• Avoid, when possible, wearing dark fabrics that can trap/retain the heat. Polyester, specifically Birdseye mesh (if approved for the task being performed), is better than cotton as it wicks moisture away from the body.
• Take approved breaks in cooler areas (i.e. shaded or indoors) if possible. For employees new to working in the heat, provide for gradual acclimation by starting small and increasing the workload over time.
• Designate someone to monitor workers and look for the signs of heat stress.
• Have a plan in place in the event an incident were to occur.
Lastly, consider PPE offerings that incorporate cooling properties. Things such as evaporated vests, cooling towels, pop-up shelters, hard hat inserts, and hydration supplemented with electrolytes, can go a long way in keeping your workers safer and more productive.
Safety Bear says…Only YOU can prevent workplace injuries.