SAFETY MOMENT: Manage heat stress when outdoors

During the summer months, I can lose a couple of pounds a week without ever stepping foot in a gym. What’s my secret? A riding lawnmower, the blazing sun and 2 1/2 hours worth of grass to cut.

Weight isn’t the only thing we lose when we spend time in the summer sun. Especially when temperatures reach into the nineties. Electrolytes, energy and clear thinking can deplete rapidly if we don’t take measures to protect ourselves. Here are some basic heat stress prevention tips we give our employees.

To Manage Heat Stress:

  1. Pace yourself to acclimate to higher temperatures by taking short, frequent breaks
  2. Drink fluids before starting a job to build a reserve, then replace electrolytes by drinking sports drinks like Gatorade throughout the day
  3. Wear loose fitting clothing
  4. Try to avoid direct sunlight by wearing a hat and using shade when possible
  5. Download the OSHA Heat Safety Tool on your phone https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/heat_app.html. Visit OSHA’s website to learn more about heat stress and its prevention.

Kyle Black is the district manager for Seneca Meadows. Safety is the company’s number one core value, and weekly safety talks with employees are just one way that the company helps foster a safety culture. This monthly column is authored by Kyle Black, and re-published by FingerLakes1.com. To submit content to be published, send letters to [email protected].

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