| 530 Words | J.Figgs | 3 Minute Read |
As I was driving from one workplace to another around 1:00 pm today, the thermometer read 110°F! I can tolerate heat but this is when I begin to call the weather excessively hot. Unfortunately, many work conditions require outside work or work places without air conditioning.
What can you do as an employer to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion for your workers?
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has a “quick card” for employers on how to protect your workers from heat stress. (You can see the card to the right.) The card gives a few suggestions to protect your workers. One suggestion is to have a complete heat illness prevention program. (Or HIPP as I like to call it.) In order to help you create a HIPP, we scoured the internet to see what the experts are suggesting.
An obvious way to beat the heat. The EHS Daily Advisor suggests workers should drink 16oz of fluids before starting an activity and 8oz every 20 minutes during the activity. 1
2) Flavored Water
Regular water will quench thirst quickly resulting in workers not drinking enough of it. Suggest flavored water instead. 1
3) New Workers
Expose new workers to heat over a 5-7 day period. Increase their percentage out in the heat by 20% each day. 1
Don’t wear a hat unless it is PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Hats restrict heat trying to leave the body through your head. 1
5) Synthetic Fabrics
Wearing lose synthetic fabrics will allow sweat to evaporate. Evaporating sweat helps keep the skin cool. Wearing cotton soaks in sweat and doesn't evaporate quickly. 1
Breaks should be in a shaded or air conditioned environment. Even being in air conditioning for a short period greatly reduces heat exhaustion. 2
7) Avoid Sunburn
Sunburns reduce the body’s ability to get rid of heat. Wear sunscreen or work with an umbrella. 3
Some medications make you more prone to heat exhaustion. Make sure your workers know their medications and side effects. 3
9) Rotation Schedules
Put your workers on a rotation schedule when working in high heat. 4
10) Eliminate Heat Hazards
Install ventilation systems, provide less strenuous equipment, enclose or fix hot machinery and pipes will all help reduce heat levels and exhaustion. 4
11) Avoid the Wrong Fluids
Coffee, alcohol, and sugary drinks can lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion more quickly. Encourage workers to drink water or flavored water instead. 5
12) Buddy System
Set up a buddy system so no one is working alone in the heat and to double check they are drinking water and taking breaks. 6
13) Provide Snacks
Snacks packed with electrolytes help keep those levels up during the day and are a better alternative than sports drinks. 7
As we insure many new businesses, hope this gives you ideas to create a good work environment.
For a new business looking for commercial insurance, we can give you a quote on what a business insurance policy may cost. Give us CALL today!