The heat of summer is here, which means that many workers are now faced with spending long days under the hot sun. Summer heat puts outdoor workers at risk of a number of injuries, including dehydration, heat stroke, and serious sunburn. The following reviews five tips for staying safe in the workplace this summer:
1. Stay Hydrated
Failing to stay hydrated as an outdoor worker can be dangerous. Dehydration – especially when you are losing liquids in the form of sweat – can happen quickly and may be dangerous. Try to avoid sugary beverages or those than contain caffeine; instead, choose water, mineral water, or even coconut water (for electrolytes) as healthier and more hydrating alternatives.
2. Cover Up
One way to protect your skin from painful and potentially dangerous burning, and to keep your body temperature cooler, is to wear light yet long clothing that covers exposed skin. You should also be sure to wear a hat to keep the sun off of your face, and be sure to wear eye protection to prevent eye damage.
3. Take Breaks
Working for hours at a time in the heat without taking a break is extremely dangerous. If you are starting to sweat excessively, feel dizzy or confused, or are just downright hot, get inside, or seek some shade at the very least. Use the break as an opportunity to replenish by drinking water and eating a snack.
4. Know the Symptoms of Heat Stroke
Heat exhaustion is the first stage of heat stroke, and is characterized by heavy sweating, weakness, clammy skin, changes in pulse, fainting, and nausea or vomiting. If heat exhaustion is not treated, it can develop into heat stroke. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the symptoms of heat stroke are a high body temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, hot skin that is red in color, a rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you recognize any of the symptoms of heat exhaustion, you should move out of the heat immediately, sip on water, and try to cool your body down. If the condition progresses to heat stroke, call 911.
5. Ask About an Illness & Injury Prevention Plan
Most workplaces have injury and illness prevention plans in place that are designed to mitigate any dangers that workers may face. Ask about this plan – if one is not in place, express concern. Further, ask about company response plans and what will be done if a heat-related injury does occur.
Contact an Illinois Workplace Injury Attorney Today
Through smart action, you can beat the heat this summer as an outdoor worker. If you do experience a work-related injury, the experienced Rockford workplace injury attorneys at Fisk & Monteleone LTD. are ready to represent you. Contact us today to learn more about workers’ compensation and third party liability suits in Rockford, Belvidere, Loves Park, Rochelle, Roscoe, Freeport, Marengo, Cherry Valley, and surrounding areas. You can reach us at 815-209-9030.