Warehouse safety is of paramount importance all year long, and the summer months bring unique issues for warehouse employees.
Many people think that summer heat only affects outdoor workers, but warehouses are also susceptible to temperature increases as it heats up outside, which can negatively impact the well-being of your employees and also their productivity. To beat the summer heat and stay safe, consider these tips.
Staying hydrated throughout your workday is very important, especially during the summer months. Working hard in the heat increases your sweat production, which means that if you’re not staying hydrated, you will soon become dehydrated. Dehydration poses a serious health risk, and each person responds differently when their body fights this issue. A general rule of thumb is to drink one pint of water every hour, however, if you notice that you’re still feeling thirsty, keep drinking water!
Utilize a Work/Rest Cycle
Especially during the hottest times of the day, a worker should try to build in rest throughout their shift. When the heat is high, it can be helpful to rest for 15 minutes for every hour of continuous work. Taking breaks periodically can help your body reset, decrease your heart rate and internal temperature, and helps keep your body from fighting so hard to stay cool.
One of the best ways to stay safe while at work during the summer months is to educate yourself about how to recognize the onset of heat-related illnesses. Understanding these symptoms can help you pause your work to stay healthy on the job.
- Heat Cramps
Painful muscular cramps caused by dehydration. Symptoms include muscle cramps, pain, spasms in arms, legs, or abdomen. If you feel these symptoms, rest in a shaded area and drink plenty of water or a sports drink to rehydrate.
- Heat Exhaustion
A condition when the body loses an excessive amount of salt and water through sweating. Symptoms include heavy sweating, extreme weakness or fatigue, dizziness, nausea, rapid breathing. If you feel these symptoms, rest in a shaded area and drink plenty of water or a sports drink to rehydrate. Cold compresses with a towel on your face and neck are also helpful.
A condition when the body is unable to control its temperature. This is an emergency that, if ignored, can cause permanent damage or death. Symptoms include elevated temperature, loss of coordination, confusion, throbbing headache, profuse sweating, or hot, dry skin. If you suspect heatstroke, call for immediate medical assistance. Move to a shaded area, remove appropriate clothing, and apply cool water to your body.
Summer heat can feel great in a leisure activity, but it is important to consider when working in a busy warehouse. Don’t ignore these safety tips so you can stay safe, healthy, and productive this summer!
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