Preventing dehydration when working in hot environments
Full-fledged summer has arrived. Few are lucky enough to escape the heat in an air-conditioned car or office, but many work outdoors and are at risk of dehydration.
High-temperature work can be found in many industries that operate in direct sunlight, such as construction and agriculture, or industries such as boiler manufacturers and factory workers, often indoors, exposed to radiant heat from hot machinery. is even a reality. As temperatures continue to rise, it is imperative that companies have a thermal management strategy and the right equipment and supplies in place to ensure the health and safety of their workers.
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Importance of hydration
Heat stroke and dehydration are caused when the body is exposed to too much heat. Temperature, humidity, clothing, intensity and duration of physical activity are all factors.
Working in extreme heat can raise your normal body temperature, leading to heat stress and dehydration. This can impair thinking and reaction time, and can lead to making errors, dropping tools, tripping, and putting workers at risk of injury.
A dehydrated worker may exhibit the following symptoms:
– muscle spasms
– language confusion
People at higher risk are those over the age of 65 who are overweight or physically unfit, are not accustomed to working in the heat.
tips for hydration
According to WorkCover Queensland, workers shouldn’t feel thirsty until they’ve lost 1-2% of their body weight in water, and they should drink water to match their sweat loss. Important tips for avoiding dehydration at work include:
- Start your day hydrated: Workers should aim to hydrate every day, especially on hot days or for jobs that require excessive exercise, if that means hydrating the night before. there is.
- Recognizing symptoms of dehydration: dry mouth, headache, thirst, fatigue, dizziness, and/or lack of concentration.
- Allow access to water and electrolytes: Where possible, provide workers with access to cold drinking water and oral rehydration solutions such as Hydralyte as needed.
- Avoid working in direct sunlight: If possible, arrange work outside in the early morning or late afternoon.
- Be aware of the sun: Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that allows air circulation, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses with UV and glare protection.
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