Managing Heat Stress in the Workplace
Heat exhaustion and heat stress are very real concerns for people who work in hot climates, especially if their workplaces don’t come equipped with air conditioning, like if they work outside. Heat stress in the workplace can be a problem for many US workers, especially if they live in a cold area which is unequipped for heat and then a heatwave strikes out of nowhere! Here we offer you some tips for managing heat stress in the workplace.
If you suspect that you may be undergoing heat stroke or heat exhaustion, you should initially tell someone and seek medical aid if necessary. If possible, you should move to a shaded area or a cool, air-conditioned area where you can begin to cool down and rehydrate. Be sure to drink plenty of cool water and spray yourself with cool water to control your temperature, and try to remove or loosen any clothing which may be making you too hot, as long as it is safe to do so.
Take preventive action
Certain everyday measures are likely to make you better in heat-stress situations. For example, staying fit and healthy will naturally regulate your body temperature more effectively. In addition, you should avoid working in the full sun if possible, taking breaks as you feel necessary. Regular sunblock application is recommended, as well as wearing lightweight clothing which covers your skin to avoid burns. Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol if possible too, as these can dehydrate you and wreak havoc in a hot situation.
How employers can help
Employers should provide free drinking water to their workers, allowing them to take rest breaks in cool/shaded areas regularly. They should also provide fans and A/C where possible and automate any labor-intensive processes with machinery where they can. It’s also good practice to schedule work for cooler periods of the day if possible, especially if your employees are working outside.
Heat stress, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion are all growing concerns for many workplaces in the US and overseas, and more and more employers are realizing that their workforces may be at risk. If you’re looking for advice on heat stress and insurance policies which cover it, why not speak to a member of our team today?