Updated: Jun 26, 2018
Heat stroke is a highly preventable illness, yet thousands of outdoor workers experience it annually. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 5,000 workers suffer from heat illness, and 40 die from heat stroke and related causes on the job each year. Although outdoor workers across all industries are susceptible to heat stroke, those in construction and agriculture are the most vulnerable.
In an effort to both raise awareness of and prevent heat stroke, OSHA is enacting a multi-pronged campaign, including a strong social media presence. The campaign includes a simple yet resounding theme: “Water. Rest. Shade.”
In the spirit of this important campaign, we here at RCI have come up with some safety tips of our own, to help you and your workplace prevent a variety of heat illnesses:
1. Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
2. Rest in the shade to cool down. Your body temperature should stay within the range of 97-99°F.
3. Wear a hat and light-colored clothing. Dark-colored clothing traps the sun's heat, while light-colored clothing reflects it.
4. Learn the basic signs of heat stroke, and what to do in case of emergency.
5. Keep an eye on fellow workers, and make sure they stay hydrated too.
6. "Easy Does It" when starting to work in extreme heat. It takes time to acclimate!
Looking for professional help? Then contact RCI today to schedule a webinar, or to have one of our safety professionals come to your job site!