Gowrie Group Risk Report: Heat Stress and Heat Related Illness
In the northeast, a Heat Wave is declared when temperatures reach or exceed 90F on three consecutive days; many areas may experience a Heat Wave this week.
Even without a declared heat wave, August is here and that means hotter weather and higher risks for heat related illnesses such as heat stress. Many occupations require work in hot environments for long periods of time. Following these OSHA's and Gowrie Group's safety guidelines can effectively reduce the risk of heat illnesses.
Guidelines for Reducing Heat Stress:
- Monitor the weather every day. When possible, reschedule work assignments to when the weather is cooler, or to cooler times of day.
- Make sure that you provide workers easy access to cold water near the work area. The water should be cool, at roughly 60 F if possible.
- Remind workers to drink water frequently throughout the work day to maintain hydration. During moderate activity one should consume at least on pint of water per hour.
- Remind workers that consuming too much water can be dangerous; workers should not consume more than 12 quarts in a 24 period.
- Schedule frequent rest periods with water breaks for employees.
- Check up on employees who are using protective clothing.
- Remind workers to avoid drinking liquids that contain caffeine or alcohol in them.
Know the Signs of Heat Related Illness
- Headache and dizziness
- Weakness and wet skin
- Irritability or confusion
- Difficulty thinking clearly
- Thirst, nausea, or vomiting