A Safety Message About Avoiding Heat Stress And Summer Safety (5)
“Is It Hot Enough For You ?”
If you think it’s hot where you are, just imagine what it’s like in the hottest place on earth. This is the place that boasts the highest temperature ever recorded in the entire nation—the mercury skyrocketed to a blistering 134 degrees F.
This is the place that gets the least rainfall of anywhere in the nation—a mere 2 inches per year. This is the place where you’ll find regions marked with ominous sounding names like Suicide Pass and Hell’s Gate and Tombstone Pass.
The place is Death Valley, and even though it is perhaps one of the harshest climates on earth, there is still abundant life. Over 60 varieties of plants, 230 species of birds, and 40 kinds of animals thrive there.
Just as these plants and animals have adapted to the harsh surroundings of Death Valley, we have to adapt and be smart about dealing with extreme high temperatures on and off the job.
When temperatures rise, your body circulates blood to the skin and begins to sweat. But if it’s too hot for sweat to evaporate and your fluid intake is low, your body will store heat. As your core temperature increases, you could lose concentration, become irritable or sick and possibly collapse. Heat stress is dangerous and potentially fatal.
Know your limits. Especially for the first two to three weeks of hot weather, give yourself some time to adjust. Work within your limits, and take breaks if you need to. Shorter, more frequent work/rest cycles are best.
Stay Hydrated. Taking in sufficient water or fluid replacement drinks is vital. To replace the four to eight quarts of fluids lost through sweating in a hot environment, experts say you need to drink at least a cup of cool water every 20 minutes.
Wear lightweight clothing. Light-weight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing won’t trap as much heat. Change when clothes become saturated.
WHEN THE TEMPERATURE CLIMBS…..YOUR SAFETY IS ON THE LINE!
* Copyright Harkins Safety 2002