Quick Tips: Avoiding Heat Related Illnesses

Safety Resources,

Summer and hot weather can add another safety concern. Heat related illnesses and injuries can affect you whether in the shop or on the jobsite. Expert from the National Institute for Occupational Safety, OSHA, and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists recommend drinking every 15 to 20 minutes, not just at break time, to stay sufficiently hydrated and maintain a safe body temperature. This puts less strain on the cardiovascular system and can lead to fewer heat related illnesses. Some quick tips for keeping yourself hydrated and healthy include:

  • Drink before, during and after physical labor to replace fluids
  • Anticipate conditions that will increase the need for water: heat, humidity, protective clothing, difficulty of work, work area (ventilation, etc.)
  • Drink fluids every 15 to 20 minutes
  • Keep an individual container of cool water within easy reach at all times, than you do not need to leave the work area to keep your body supplied with liquids
  • Drink cool water. This is absorbed more quickly and is easier to drink than warm or very cold fluids
  • Try carbohydrate/ electrolyte drinks to help avoid heat cramps
  • Avoid coffee, tea, or soda (caffeinated drinks). These act as a diuretic depriving the body of fluids.
  • Never drink alcohol while working (at the job or at home!)
  • You should drink eight 8-oz servings of water every day, more when you are working in the heat and humidity

(Tips provided by CamelBak Products, Inc.)