Keepin’ it Cool in the Carolina’s

Not everyone is fortunate enough to work in the air conditioning, but for those that don’t it is very important to read this. Heat illness and related injuries can be very deadly. Every year, thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and some even die. Heat illnesses and deaths are preventable. Employers are responsible for providing acceptable workplace conditions that are safe from excessive heat. If you’re an employer whose employees work outside or an employee make sure you pay special attention to the weather to best prepare yourself for that day.
The body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, the body is fighting to keep itself cool. Body temperatures can rise rapidly to dangerous levels if the necessary precautions are not taken such as drinking water frequently and taking regular resting periods in the shade or air conditioning. Heat illnesses range from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention and if not taken seriously it can easily result in death.
According to OSHA, take these simple precautions to prevent heat related illness and fatalities:
• Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
• Rest in the shade frequently to cool down.
• Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
• Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
• Keep an eye on fellow workers to notice any strange behaviors or signs of a heat stroke.
• A new employer must get used to working in the heat.
Remember these three simple words: Water, Rest, and Shade. Taking these precautions can mean the difference between life and death.
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