Summer brings new challenges to workers. The biggest one is remaining healthy while working under the sun. Since many workers operate outdoors, they are prone to heat waves. The rate of workers falling sick increases and many of them are reported to have collapsed or died at the workplace. In the year 2014, 2,630 workers got affected due to heat illness and 18 people died due to heat stroke.
Heat waves cause heat exhaustion, a condition in which body fluids deteriorate drastically due to over exposure to heat. Heat exhaustion causes nausea, weakness, dizziness, and makes the individual faint or pass out. Heat waves pose a great threat to a worker’s life and a slight disturbance in the body might prove to be fatal for a worker's life.
The following 5 tips will help you prevent heat illness at the workplace:
- Drink Lots of Water.
Dehydration is a major cause for heat illness and it occurs when the amount of water in the body falls down to a very unusual level. The workplace environment is generally hotter (more in the summer), usually due to open area or because of heavy machinery enclosed area. Under these circumstances, the water level in your body keeps falling quickly. That's why keeping your body hydrated by drinking lots of water (about one cup every 15 minutes) and other healthy beverages is a must to keep yourself healthy and tidy.
- Take Frequent Short Breaks
If you are working for a long period of time without breaks, you are at high risk for heat exhaustion. There should be small intervals during your work where you cool down and get some fresh air. Your muscles will also get some rest as they need to be refueled with electrolytes after a long stretch of work.air.. Your muscles will also get some rest as they need to be refueled with electrolytes after a long stretch of work.air.. Your muscles will also get some rest as they need to be refueled with electrolytes after a long stretch of work.air.. Your muscles will also get some rest as they need to be refueled with electrolytes after a long stretch of work.
- Use Cooling Pads
Use cooling pads that can be inserted into hardhats or around the neck to keep the head and neck cool. The cool tubes of inflated water crystals in these cooling products lower the body temperature by cooling the carotid arteries in the neck and they are also environment-friendly, carbon free, and can be reused for many years. You can also get your hardhat or neckbands simply soaked in cold water to prevent the body from overheating.hardhat or neckbands simply soaked in cold water to prevent the body from overheating.
- Wear Lightweight Clothes
Wearing the right and light clothing helps keep your body cool. Your workplace clothes should be lightweight (cotton), loose fitting, and light colored. Choose hand gloves with leather palms and cotton or denim backs as it will allow for increased airflow and protection of your hands. Wear sweatbands on your head to prevent perspiration from dripping into the eyes.
- Keep a Check on Your Health
The most important treatment is precaution. Check on your health while working under harsh conditions and stop working as soon as you start feeling uneasy. Ask your supervisor for first aid training as it will help you and your co-workers recognize and treat the signs of heat stress.
The responsibility of heat exhaustion falls on the workplace owners too. However, the workers themselves must be aware of the precautions that they can undertake to deal with the heat waves. If followed cautiously, it can greatly reduce the risk of falling sick.