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5 Ways to Stay Safe in the Summertime Workplace

a man and woman working at Arvinyl Laminates

5 Ways to Stay Safe in the Summertime Workplace

We’re halfway through summer 2019, and it has already been a scorcher. As the heat and humidity won’t let up soon, we’re sharing some of the steps we take while manufacturing in hot temperatures. We expect these tips will work for you, too, no matter your industry.

Here are five (5) ways to stay safe in the summertime workplace:

Watch the thermometer

Weather forecasts are your friends! Weather websites and weather apps predict weather conditions that may affect working environments. Work in high temperatures, humidity, and little air movement is manageable when you know it is coming and plan.

Plan ahead

Planning for extreme heat is easier with the use of safety apps and online planning tools. Here are some good ones:

 

Part of a good plan involves acclimatization. Become acclimatized to working in heat by increasing time spent in hot environments over a 1-2-week period. For those new to hot working conditions, start with 20% exposure to heat on day 1, and increase exposure by 20% daily. Experienced workers in hot conditions may tolerate 50% exposure to heat on day 1. Acclimatization is lost after 1 or more weeks away from working in the heat. Re-acclimatization may take 2-3 days upon return to a hot environment. Learn more on acclimatization by reading the CDC’s webpage, Adjusting to Work in the Heat: Why Acclimatization Matters.

Another crucial component of your plan will involve working around the hottest parts of the day. Start work early and split up your work schedule to stay out of the worst heat. Be sure to do the most challenging tasks during cooler hours. Frequent shade breaks, especially for those not acclimatized to the hot weather, will help, too.

Keep your cool

Keep your body safe in even the most punishing of environments by staying hydrated the right way. Start by drinking 16 oz. of water before starting work, and 1 cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes. Drink sports drinks containing electrolytes when working outdoors for several hours. Limit drinks to 6 cups of fluids per hour. Avoid dehydrating liquids like alcohol, soda, tea, and coffee while working in the heat.

Dress for the heat by wearing breathable, loose, and light-colored clothing. Soak clothing and rags in water to aid in cooling. Wear wide-brimmed hats and apply sunscreen to avoid sunburns. Use protective gear and equipment to shield skin from heat stress and burns.

Recognize the signs of heat illness

Be on the lookout for signs of heat illnesses. Not only will they sap your energy, but heat illnesses may also be dangerous to your health.

HEAT ILLNESSES

SYMPTOMS

Heat rash
Itching, burning, scaly skin or bumps/sores
Heat edema
Swelling of ankles, hands, legs
Heat cramps
Involuntary or intermittent cramps
Heat tetany
(hyperventilation and heat stress)
Hyperventilation, respiratory problems, Numbness or tingling, muscle spasms
Heat syncope (fainting)
Headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fainting
Heat exhaustion
Weakness, clammy and moist skin, redden or flushed complexion, nausea, headache, giddiness
Heatstroke
Absence of sweat, red, hot, and dry skin, high body temperature (above 103 degrees), rapid pulse, confusion, disorientation, unconsciousness, hallucination, seizure

 

Treat heat illness by taking the following actions:

Move anyone affected to a cool location, and replace lost fluids and electrolytes. Contact a doctor if one doesn’t recover immediately from heat illness. With a life-threatening medical condition such as heatstroke, cool the person’s body temperature quickly and take him or her to the emergency room.

Be aware of your surroundings

Another critical component of staying safe in the summertime workplace is to be mindful of your surroundings. High temperatures and prolonged exposure to the sun may affect work supplies and the surface of work areas. Be extra careful around tools and surfaces that radiate heat. Wear appropriate protective gear on the job.

By applying these five (5) tips, you can stay safe throughout this searing summer season.

 

About Arvinyl Laminates
For more than 60 years, Arvinyl Laminates has been a manufacturer of custom laminated sheets. As one of the original laminators of PVC and TPO single-ply roofing membrane, Arvinyl’s lamination expertise enables it to manufacture quality material with an unmatched superior bond. For more information on Arvinyl’s PVC and TPO clad metal sheets, visit https://www.arvinyl.com/roofing/.

 

For information on Arvinyl’s laminated products across multiple industries, visit our homepage, https://www.arvinyl.com/.

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