Many manufacturing and logistics workers are accustomed to working in warm — sometimes downright hot — environments. But did you know that above-normal temperatures are expected during the months of May, June and July in the United States this year? It's true. And in many parts of the country, the heat lasts even longer. So if you want to do your best while also staying safe, you'll need to take a few additional steps this summer.
But don't worry — we've got your back. In this infographic, we break down everything you need to know about heat stress so you can stay healthy and safe during the dog days of summer.
Ultimately, it's important for your whole team to be aware of best practices when it comes to heat safety — at the end of the day, safety is everyone's responsibility, and it's easier to be productive, regardless of the temperature, when you know that other people are looking out for you and have your back. Here are some best practices for staying healthy, hydrated and safe this summer.
- Hydration starts the minute you wake up, and you should continue to drink water throughout the day — not just at work. Consider bringing a water bottle to the job site with you. You should also avoid caffeine and alcohol, as these can dehydrate you and increase your risk of heat stress.
- As much as possible, work during the hours of the day when the sun is less intense. And, if possible, try to stay out of the sun altogether.
- When you're working in warmer environments, it becomes essential to take short breaks frequently throughout the day. Sitting in a shaded or air conditioned area can help you cool down.
- Gear up to beat the heat. That might mean wearing looser, more breathable cotton clothing. If you're working outside, sunscreen is always a good idea. Sunglasses and a hat can help too, but check with your supervisor first.
- Arm yourself with knowledge. OSHA's handy Heat Illness Prevention Guide is a good place to start. Fully understanding what you can do to minimize the risk of heat stress at work — as well as what to do when a coworker shows symptoms of heat stress — is critical. Staying active and being in good physical condition can also help build your tolerance to the heat.
Want more safety best practices? Check out our tips to dressing smart in manufacturing and logistics environments and avoiding slips, trips and falls at work.