Summer Safety In the Workplace: Protecting Yourself In Hot Weather Conditions

07.05.23 | Employee Wellness, General Labor

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!

Take Breaks

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:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Stomach or muscle cramps
  • Headache
  • Profuse sweating
  • Fatigue

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.

Looking for a New Role?

Workbox Staffing offers light industrial jobs in more than 30 locations across the Midwest, Midatlantic, and Southeast. If you’re ready to jumpstart your light industrial career, take a look at our open positions or simply send us your resume today!