It’s officially summertime, and temperatures are warming up fast! If you work in a warehouse or manufacturing facility, you’ll need to take extra precautions to stay safe all summer long. Here are a few strategies and suggestions to beat the summer heat.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
The single biggest thing you can do to protect yourself in the heat is to stay hydrated. When you’re working in the heat, you need at least 8 ounces of fluids every 20 minutes. If you’re exposed to the heat for more than 2 hours in a row, make sure that at least some of your fluids come from sports drinks with electrolytes. You need to replace what your body is losing in sweat.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
Temperatures in an enclosed, un-air-conditioned building can rapidly rise to dangerous levels. Whenever possible, open doors and windows and turn on at least one large fan. This will help keep air flowing through the building and make it easier for sweat to evaporate.
Utilize Cooling Equipment
Besides air conditioners and fans, there are other ways to keep yourself a bit cooler. Ask your employer about installing a mister or two, which will spray a fine mist of water into the air. Freeze a towel and wrap it around your neck. Grab some ice or a cold water bottle and hold it against your wrist. These small steps can make a huge difference in maintaining your body temperature.
Reduce Sun Exposure
Stay out of the direct sun as much as possible. Seek shade from trees or even the side of a building. Ask about installing tents in outdoor work areas. Wear a long-sleeved, lightweight shirt and pants in a light color. Wear a hat, and don’t forget the sunscreen!
It’s important to take a short break every hour when working in high heat. Take this opportunity to hydrate and rest in the shade. Eat frequently but lightly, choosing salty snacks and foods with a high water content rather than heavy meals.
Know the Signs of Heat-Related Illness
Heat-related illness can quickly become serious. If you develop any of these symptoms, stop working and seek shade and fluids right away. If you see these signs in someone else, immediately alert your supervisor:
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Stomach or muscle cramps
- Profuse sweating
Coping with heat is part of the job in a warehouse or manufacturing role. But that doesn’t mean you need to suffer. Follow the tips above, and you’ll be on your way to a safe and successful summer.
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