How to Prepare Your Workers and Facility for Summer
As the summer heat becomes stronger, so do the risks associated with heat stress and dehydration. Preparing workers and the facility for summer could mean the difference between over-exhausted employees and a productive facility.
“At times, workers may be required to work in hot environments for long periods. When the human body is unable to maintain a normal temperature, heat illnesses can occur and may result in death. It is also important to consider that hot work environments may exist indoors.”¹
Things to Consider:
- Fans – Are there ample fans in the facility to circulate air and provide relief from the heat? In The Dangers of Heat Stress, Paul Murray, Optimum’s Director of Enterprise Safety, writes, “Heat leaves our body more quickly when a breeze is present. Fans Create airflow that quickly evaporates perspiration from our skin, carrying away heat. The airflow also reduces the thickness of the hot, humid layer of insulating air that builds up around our bodies, which improves heat dissipation. In short, fans make our natural cooling mechanisms more efficient – fans cool people, not rooms.”
Resource: The Dangers of Heat Stress – How Fans Improve Safety (Whitepaper)
- Water – Is there water provided to all employees in the facility? Many times, OSHA has issued willful citations to companies for a lack of water supply and resulting heat-related illnesses among employees. These fines can total thousands of dollars more than simply providing the water for employees. Ensuring employees are hydrated could lead to a reduction in over 16,000 cases of serious heat illness every year.
Resource: OSHA Fact Sheet – Protecting Workers From the Effects of Heat
- Sun Protection – We all know the sun can be dangerous, but often ignore preventative measures. Applying sunscreen before working outdoors or wearing a wide-brimmed hat could eliminate serious sun damage to the skin.
Do you have questions about heat stress in your facility? Call our SafetyHelpline™ to speak with a Safety Professional or contact us here.
888-70-Safety (888-707-2338) or SafetyHelpline@Optimum-USA.com
¹. Taken from OSHA Fact Sheet – Protecting Workers From the Effects of Heat