Contributor: Safesite • Jurisdiction: OSHA
Review the dangers and symptoms associated with heat stress with your team before they start tasks in environments with elevated temperatures. Workers should know when and where to cool off.
1. Employees accustomed to working in the heat are better candidates for job assignments where heat stress disorders may occur.
2. Until employees acclimate to the high temperature, allow them to take frequent breaks to cool down.
3. Employees should be rotated from exposure area to a non-exposure area on a regular basis to help in avoiding heat stress symptoms.
4. Employees should be provided with and encouraged to drink plenty of fluids (water, Gatorade, Powerade. etc.) to replace electrolytes. Employees should not drink any carbonated beverages (Coke, Pepsi, etc.) as these only increase dehydration and give a flase sense of being properly hydrated. Also, the use of alcohol the evening before the work shift can lead to dehydration even before heat exposure.
5. Monitor the Heat Index daily. For example, if the air temperature is 96 °F (36 °C) and the relative humidity is 65%, the heat index is 121 °F / 49 °C which is very unhealthful for workers.
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