Heat Illness Prevention for Summer Weather

OSHA suggests a heat illness prevention program for employers to protect workers from heat-related illness. Heat illness can range from heat rash to heat exhaustion to heat stroke. Heat stroke is a medical emergency and can result in death.

California employers are required to:

  • Develop written procedures based on Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard,
  • Train all employees on heat illness prevention program,
  • Provide enough fresh water for each employee to drink at least 1 quart per hour,
  • Provide access to shade and breaks.

Medical practitioners suggest that outdoor workers should follow basic safety steps to prevent a heat-related illness:

  • Use caution not to spend too much time in the sun when working between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. in hot, humid weather.
  • Medical practitioners suggest drinking fluids on a schedule. “Two hours before exercising, drink 24 fl oz (750 mL) of fluid. Drink 16 fl oz (500 mL) of fluid 15 minutes before exercising. Continue drinking 8 fl oz (250 mL) of fluid every 15 minutes while exercising.”
  • Drink re-hydration beverages and eat fruits and vegetables to replace nutrients, sugar, and sodium. Caffeine or alcohol increase your risk of dehydration.
  • Choose clothing carefully in hot weather, such as lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing or wide-brimmed hat.
  • Cool skin with water spray or work in shade with umbrella or pop-up canopy.
  • Avoid fainting by flexing leg muscles to prevent blood pooling in your lower legs.

For more information – http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/tc/heat-related-illnesses-prevention

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