This week marked the first official day of summer, even though south Florida has already been experiencing summer-like heat for many months.
Summer is everyone's favorite time of the year (especially contractors selling HVAC service!)
but the summer can present many dangers for our work force.
Heat illness statistic you should know:
In 2014 alone, 2,630 workers suffered from heat illness and 18 died from heat stroke and related causes on the job. Heat illnesses and deaths are preventable. The summer brings heat, and heat illness can be deadly for our work force. Every year, thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and some even die. Our bodies normally cool by sweating, however, during hot weather, especially with high Florida humidity, sweating isn't enough. Body temperature can rise to dangerous levels and heat illness results. Heat illnesses range from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and even heat stroke and cardiac events due to dehydration. Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention and can result in death. Did you know, one of the industries most affected by heat-related illness is construction?
What must we teach our employees?
* Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
* Rest in the shade to cool down during lunch or breaktime.
* Wear light-colored clothing.
* Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
* Keep an eye out for your fellow workers and monitor them for signs of illness.
* "Easy does it" on your first days of work in the heat. You need to get used to it.
If workers are rookies to outside work, or are simply returning from a week's vacation, implement a work schedule which allows them exposure to heat gradually. Taking the above precautions will make a difference between life and death. Heat illnesses and deaths are preventable.
Remember these three simple words: Water, Rest and Shade.