Friday, June 3, 2016

Be prepared for the lazy, hazy and crazy days of summer

It’s summer! Well, almost. This year summer’s official beginning is slated for June 20, but with the recent wave of warm temperatures and sunshine days, it feels like it’s already here.
While many of us look forward to a vacation during the summer, one thing we can’t take a vacation from is safety; especially in the workplace. Summer brings its own list of safety and health risks to the party; whether you’re working indoors or outdoors.
Increased heat in the summer is definitely a game changer. Things like dehydration, sunburn and heat-related illnesses like exhaustion, cramps and heat stroke, become common phrases in our vocabulary. But, there’s nothing common about them. According to a report from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2014, 2,630 workers suffered from heat illnesses with eighteen dying from heat stroke and related causes at the job.
Preventive measures help lessen these risks and create a safer environment for all. Here are some things to keep in mind.
·        Stay hydrated – make sure employees have ready access to water and encourage them to drink that water every 15 minutes, even if they are not thirsty.
·        Work schedules may have to be modified to allow for additional rest periods; for outdoor workers it may mean extra time in the shade. Provide a cool area where employees can rest.
·        Plan for emergencies and make sure workers are trained on prevention. Make sure everyone knows the signs of heat-related illnesses and what to do in case of emergency.
·        Keep an eye on fellow workers. Monitor them for signs like dizziness, headaches, nausea, weakness, excessive sweating and signs of confusion.

Make this summer – and your work place – the best it can be. Remember that safety is important all year long.

Posted by MJ Thomas

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