Ways to Avoid Heat Related Incidents

In the heart of summer, we all can feel the heat during the peak of day. Not all of us work outdoors, but those who do must be aware of the risks and take steps to protect themselves from the ill effects of heat.

As an employer, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the risks faced by workers who work in the heat on a regular basis. Heat-based incidents are on the rise with record temperatures occurring every year.

  • Heat Stroke: The body temperature regulating system fails and body temperature rises to critical levels greater than 104F. The signs are confusion, loss of consciousness, and seizures.
  • Heat Exhaustion: Signs include headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, confusion, thirst, heavy sweating, and body temperature over 100.4F.
  • Heat Cramps: Signs include muscle pains usually caused by the loss of body salts during sweating.
  • Heat Rash: Heat rash is caused by sweating and looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters that may appear on the neck, upper chest, groin, under the breasts, and in the elbow creases.

Any of these conditions can be caused by working in heat. Below are tips and best practices for staying safe in the scorching summer months.

  • Proper Training: Employers can help prevent heat illnesses by providing proper training. Teaching proper hydration, implementing a break policy, and refraining from conducting work in the peak of the day can help reduce heat-related incidents.
  • Implement Hydration Scheduling: Before working in the heat, workers should consume plenty water to prevent dehydration. While preforming duties in a heated environment, it is important to take water breaks every 45 minutes to ensure proper hydration. This process will promote sweating and will assist in decreasing the body temperature. Also, sport/electrolytes drinks can help replace sodium, sugar, and other nutrients.
  • Emergency Response Plan: Having an emergency response plan in place is crucial during any season, especially during the scorching summer months. Creating a lone worker policy can help employers manage any heat illness or lone worker safety incidents that may occur. For tips on implementing a lone work policy, click here.
  • Shade, Shade, Shade: When working outside, sometimes the sun is unavoidable, but any duties that can be handled in the shade will reduce the risks workers face.
  • Protective Gear: When working outside, sometimes the sun is unavoidable, but any duties that can be handled in the shade will reduce the risks workers face. Workers should use sunscreen, sun visors and light breathable clothing to best defend against the sun. Wearing materials that will divert the sun should be utilized if possible.

Employers can help reduce heat-related incidents and encourage good safety practices. At SoloProtect, we believe in providing the best safety solution for employees that work in these extreme conditions. We have been collaborating closely with several companies concerned with heat risk, especially those that must comply to increasing regulations regarding the heat-related workplace incidents.

SoloProtect Safety solution can help employers mitigate heat-related illness in two ways.

The SoloProtect device allows employees the opportunity to Check In and Out. In heat conditions where you as the employer want to or may be required by state government to enforce breaks in recommended intervals, employees can utilize the Check-In feature. The Check In feature lets employers know that they have taken their break. This can give you a nice audit trail that documents proof of efforts.

Additionally, in the event that an employee begins to feel symptoms of heat illness, he or she can press a button to open two-way audio with our Emergency Monitoring Center to get help dispatched along with medical instruction from trained professionals while waiting. In the event of Mandown incident, due to unconsciousness, the device’s non movement detection will trigger an automatic Mandown Alarm, once again opening up two-way audio communication with our Emergency Monitoring Center in order to get your employee the heat-related help they need as quickly as possible.

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