Whether you are a child running around on a playground or a worker outside in a construction zone, you have a right to be healthy and stay protected from the squelching heat. Many people are exposed to heat each year and many more will become sick due to this exposure when they do not take proper precautions toward handling the heat. In fact, many workers each year will become physically ill due to exposure working in jobs that require farm work, warehouses, construction, oil operations, and more. How do you protect yourself?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration wants to portray an important lesson each summer season that you could become ill or possibly die if you do not protect yourself as a worker. Each year, thousands of workers will become sick due to occupational heat exposure and some will even die – but these illnesses and deaths are completely preventable. If a worker’s body is unable to get rid of excess heat, it will store it and the overall body temperate and heart rate will increase as a result. When a worker becomes ill due to heat, many undesirable effects could happen to their body and it is considered to be an emergency. This is why it is up to employees and employers to understand the effects of heat on the body and take proper steps to minimize the likelihood of these events.
Steps That Can be Taken
Here are some important tips that you should remember, whether you are working outdoors or indoors in hot conditions:
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Stay Out of Direct Sunlight as Much as Possible: Yes, Vitamin D is great for the body and the sun gives us just that. However, UV rays can cause exposure to the human body, which means that you can obtain a horrific sunburn in only a matter of time. So how do you minimize the chance that you will be exposed for so long that you could obtain a sunburn? Two steps you can take is to always remember your sunscreen and take frequent breaks from the sun by going indoors or moving into the shade. Especially between 10:00 in the morning and 4:00 in the afternoon, which are the most vital times to follow these steps, you should remember how to care for yourself in the event that you have been working in the sun.
Remember to Drink as Much as Possible: Drinking water has many benefits, and can prevent you from obtaining heat stroke. When you sweat, you lose the water that your body has obtained and needs to work correctly. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink; you must keep hydrated properly throughout the day. You never want the water level in your body to drop too low to the point of dehydration.
Be Aware of Heat Exhaustion Warning Signs: If you have been working in the heat all day, you should always be aware of how it feels to obtain heat exhaustion. This feeling may come on quite suddenly as you may feel tired or even collapse. Before heat stroke sets in, you should drink liquids and seek medical attention immediately.
Staying properly hydrated and remembering these other important steps can reduce the chance that you will land in the hospital from working on a hot day. Employees and employers alike must keep these tips in mind and remember the importance of health and safety in the workplace.