The weather is starting to heat up and with warmer weather comes increased risk of heat-related illness. When working or playing outdoors this summer, be sure to remain aware of heat-related illness risk factors such as: high temperatures and humidity, direct sun exposure, no breeze or wind conditions, low liquid intake, and heavy physical labor and activity.
AEC Health & Safety Director Matt Durbin says:
“Fatigue, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are a major health and safety concern as the outside temperature begins to rise. While working in hot or humid conditions, and especially when performing heavy physical labor tasks, it is critical that our team stays hydrated and take breaks from the heat. We strongly encourage all employees to keep a watchful eye on each other’s condition, and look out for the signs and symptoms of heat related illness in yourself and those around you.”
There are two primary types of heat-related illness, Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke. Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke are dangerous medical conditions which can be controlled if you can identify the symptoms:
AEC suggests taking the following steps to lower your risk of heat-related illness this season:
- Easy Does It – It takes time to adjust to the heat; don’t overexert yourself.
- Drink Extra Water – You should drink 16 oz of water per hour when the temperature rises above 90°F.
- Avoid Beverages Containing Caffeine – Caffeine is a stimulant and diuretic, which causes your body to lose water and increases your heart rate!
- Rest in the Shade – During breaks and lunch times, find a cool and shaded area to in which to rest.
Remember, we’re a team out there! When it gets hot, make sure to check in with those around you regularly to ensure that we all stay safe! If you recognize the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke it is critical to act quickly. You should attempt to cool and hydrate the person immediately, and call 9-1-1 if they are unresponsive or incoherent.