Sharing the expertise that makes them industry leaders, members of Haskell’s award-winning Safety team compiled this list of Frequently Asked Questions about handling the heat:
The risk for heat-related illness and death may increase among people using psychotropic drugs, Parkinson’s disease medications, blood pressure medication, antihistamines, tranquilizers (phenothiazines, butyrophenones, thioxanthenes) or diuretic medications or “water pills.
Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s or above, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Those exhibiting symptoms of heat-related illness should move to a shaded area, loosen clothing, drink water a little at a time and cool down with ice packs or cool water.
Keep cool and drink plenty of fluid, replace salts and minerals, wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen, pace yourself, stay cool indoors, schedule outdoor activities carefully, use a buddy system, monitor those at risk, and adjust to the environment.
Do not take salt tablets unless directed by your doctor. The easiest and safest way to replenish lost salt and minerals through sweating is through your diet. Drink fruit juice or a sports beverage.
During hot weather, you need to increase your fluid intake regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. In a hot environment, drink enough non-alcoholic cool fluids each hour to maintain normal color and amount of urine output. Avoid sodas, caffeine, alcohol, energy drinks.
Lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a long-sleeve shirt. A wide-brimmed hat will provide shade and keep the head cool. Apply sunscreen to unprotected parts of your body and reapply according to the package directions. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin.
Pace yourself. If you are not accustomed to working in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Move to a cool or shady area and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
Haskell recommends downloading and using the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool, a useful resource for planning outdoor work activities based on how hot it feels throughout the day. It features real-time, location-specific heat index and hourly forecasts, as well as occupational safety and health recommendations from OSHA and NIOSH.
If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim. Do the following:
Haskell delivers more than $1 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 1,800 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.
As much attention and as many resources as Haskell focuses on the safety and wellbeing of its team members and contract partners,...
Haskell received the 2020 Associated Builders and Contractors’ National Safety Excellence Award during the 31st annual...
Each year, along with honoring the best workplace educational programs across industries in the United States and around...