As summer approaches and temperatures rise, workers become more at risk for developing heat stress. Heat stress can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat rashes, and in severe cases can be deadly.
Dozens of workers die every year because of working in the heat, OSHA says. Most of those deaths take place in the first few days of working in the heat, which makes it especially important for employers to allow workers to build up gradual tolerance to the conditions.
NIOSH also stresses the importance of acclimatization. That is, helping workers adapt to hot environments. When workers are newly exposed to hot work environments, they may encounter symptoms of heat stress, so proper acclimatization will lower their risk of injury. The process is gradual and does not happen overnight – new workers can take up to 14 days to acclimatize.
In addition, employers can prevent heat-related illness by providing proper training and encouraging frequent water breaks. At Gallaway Safety & Supply, we strive to offer the products to protect workers and reduce the risk of heat-related illness. Ensure the safety of employees performing tasks in hot and humid conditions with electrolyte drinks from Sqwincher® and Gatorade® , as well as our other heat stress relief products.
As part of it’s national campaign to prevent heat-related illness in workers, OSHA is offering a variety of educational materials in both English and Spanish , as well as a free mobile app to help workers and supervisors monitor the heat index at job sites.