As the days get longer and the weather starts to warm up, you must keep yourself safe from heat-related illnesses and injuries while on the job. Heatstroke is the most dangerous heat-related disorder, raising the body up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit within 10 to 15 minutes.
It can lead to a permanent disability or death without preparation and care. So here are a few tips for staying safe while working in the summer heat so that you can stay hydrated and get the job done.
Know the Signs of Heat Illness
Before starting work, you must go over the symptoms of heat illnesses, such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat rash, and heatstroke. With heat cramps, you’ll feel muscle pain or spasms in the abdomen, arms, or legs. Excess sweating causes heat rash, which produces various symptoms, including a red cluster of pimples or blisters appearing on the neck, upper chest, breasts, elbow creases, and groin area.
Heat exhaustion and heatstroke can become dangerous if you don’t look out for them. Heat exhaustion comes from a loss of salt and water and creates symptoms of excessive sweating, weakness, dizziness, clammy hands, muscle cramps, and a flushed complexion. As for heatstroke, the body stops sweating and reaches dangerous temperatures. Symptoms of heatstroke include:
- Chills and confusion
- Slurred speech and rapid pulse
- High body temperature
- Dry, hot, reddish skin
- Lack of sweat
Keep Up With Hydration
To avoid these severe heat illnesses, you should follow this significant tip for staying safe while working in the summer heat: stay on top of hydration. Ideally, you should drink 16 ounces before you start working, then drink 5 to 7 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes.
Additionally, consume smaller meals that include things like fibrous fruits and natural juices. Stay away from alcohol, coffee, tea, and caffeinated beverages, as they can dehydrate you further.
Adjust to the Weather Slowly
When your body goes through acclimatization, it slowly builds a tolerance to working in the heat. Ideally, you shouldn’t work exceedingly hard on the first day of work. Rather, you should slowly increase what you do each day.
You also must consider temperature changes throughout the workweek and adjust based on that.
Wear Thin, Protective Layers
Leaving your skin exposed to the sun can increase your body temperature, lead to heat illnesses, and raise your risk of skin cancer. So you must wear protective clothing that will also keep your skin cool.
Lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothes will help protect your body from harm. Once your clothing becomes saturated with sweat, change into a spare change of clothes that you keep nearby.
Take Regular Breaks
A beneficial method to stay cool in hot outdoor working conditions is taking regular breaks. You don’t want to spend hours of your time roasting in the intense sun and heat. Spend your breaks in the shade or an air-conditioned area, and have a water bottle to hydrate during those periods.