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On The Job Site: Heat Stress Prevention

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Heat Stress Prevention

Blair Chapman, Pensacola FL

There are a variety of steps crews can take before heat-related illness strikes on a job site, including:

1.¬†Acclimate slowly: It generally takes five days of working at least 1¬Ĺ hours per day for the body to become acclimated. Check weather forecasts for heat wave information.

2. Dress for summer. Lightweight, light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight and helps your body maintain normal temperatures. Long sleeves and pants are still necessary to protect your body from flying debris and other safety hazards.

3. Wear a hat or sun visor.

4. Eat small meals and salty snacks throughout the day.

5. Drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated fluids. Your body needs fluids to keep cool, and you should drink them even if you don’t feel thirsty. Drink one pint of water every 15 to 20 minutes in extreme heat. Urine should be clear. If it’s dark, you are probably dehydrated.

6. Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.

7. Take frequent breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas.

8. Use the buddy system to keep an eye on your co-workers.

9. Some medications can make you more susceptible to heat illnesses. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out if any medicine you are taking could affect you while working in the heat.

10. Do the heaviest work during the coolest part of the day. This is usually between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Additional Reading:
https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_iii/otm_iii_4.html

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