Temps are heating up just in time to celebrate our nation’s independence this week. It’s important to keep in mind these safety tips if you are tasked with working in the summer heat:
ASSE offers the following tips for employees and employers to prevent heat stress:
- Take breaks in cooler, shaded areas and rest regularly.
- Use fans or air conditioning to stay cool.
- Use cooling pads that can be inserted into hardhats or around the neck to keep the head and neck cool. Vented hardhats or neckbands soaked in cold water also can be used to minimize prolonged heat exposure and prevent the body from overheating.
- Wear protective eyewear that features sufficient ventilation or anti-fog lens coating to reduce lens fogging from the heat. Sweatbands also can be used to prevent perspiration from dripping into the eyes.
- Use gloves with leather palms and cotton or denim backs, which allow for an increased airflow and still protect hands. Choose gloves with a liner to absorb sweat and prevent perspiration buildup. Some gloves feature strips of nylon mesh or are perforated at the back of the hand for more airflow.
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing such as cotton, recommends OSHA.
- To prevent dehydration, another hazard associated with exposure to heat, drink lots of water, about one cup every 15 minutes. Drink cool water and avoid diuretics such as coffee, tea, alcohol or soda, as these can deplete body fluid.