DCSMEC WANTS YOU TO BE AWARE & BE SAFE!
Brothers & Sisters,
Let’s be prepared to deal with another South Florida sizzling summer.
Things You Can Do to Prevent Heat-Related Illness.
Working in hot environments and/or prolonged exertion can raise the body’s temperature resulting in heat stress that may lead to heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat rashes, and even heat stroke. According to OSHA, heat stroke is the most severe form of heat-related illness and can be fatal if not quickly treated. The symptoms of heat stroke can include a change in mental status that can range from confusion to bizarre behavior to seizures, collapsing or even passing out.
Although avoiding exposure to extreme heat, sun exposure, and high humidity altogether is preferable, when this is not possible, workers should take the following steps to prevent heat-related illness and fatalities:
1. Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing, such as cotton. Avoid non-breathing synthetic clothing, and always wear a hat.
2. Schedule heavy work during the coolest parts of the work day. If these tasks must take place during the hottest parts of the day, gradually build up to that work.
3. No matter how tempted you are to skip them, take scheduled breaks at a minimum, more if needed due the hot conditions. Cool down, find shade or an air-conditioned space.
4. Always wear your PPE when required, take into consideration PPE can increase ambient temperatures by as much as 10°.
5. You should acclimate yourself by being exposed for progressively longer periods to hot working environments gradually. If necessary, utilize relief workers for physically demanding jobs, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
6. In addition to monitoring your own physical condition, keep an eye on your fellow workers and call for help immediately if they become confused or act strangely during work in a hot environment. Move them to a cool area immediately.
7. Drink water frequently, even if you are not thirsty. Consume approximately 1 cup every 15 to 20 minutes. By the time you become thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Water and low-sugar beverages are best to rehydrate your body. Also avoid drinks with large amounts of caffeine or sugar when working in hot environments, as these will cause you to become dehydrated more quickly.
A tried & true method for greatly decreasing the possibility of any heat related illness is to well hydrate yourself the day before. Drink a large amount of water the afternoon & evening before a sweltering day of work, you will notice the difference! Also, minimize alcohol consumption the day/evening before, you’ll be glad you did.
Let’s have a great summer, these times are always exciting in South Florida, to keep it that way let’s just be aware of the hazards that can occur when we are exposed to the summer heat for prolonged amounts of time.
Be Aware! Be Safe!
From all the officers of DCSMEC, have a safe, productive & enjoyable summer.