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The Dog Days are Here

August 6, 2014

The construction site is a dangerous place and safety is a priority. However, you can’t see one of the biggest dangers that affect workers, but, you can feel it.  HEAT!  Construction workers and landscapers routinely endure the heat of summer and are at risk. Employees who must wear heavy protective gear such as metal processing/foundry workers or manufacturing workers face severe heat from indoor operations.

During the hottest part of the summer or Dog Days, dehydration can cause altered behavior, severe anxiety, confusion and even sleepiness. Fainting or light headedness, weak rapid pulse, little or no urination are all symptoms in a dehydrated person. A person can sweat about a liter or more each hour doing heavy work. Many workers don’t realize that once they are thirsty they are already 2-3% dehydrated. The solution is to hydrate, drink and drink some more.

The body requires fluid to cool itself through sweat and evaporation. High humidity and clothing reduce the body’s ability to cool itself. Prevention is key and drinking cool water, 5-7 ounces, every 15-20 minutes is recommended by OSHA. Don’t wait for a break to drink. Drink frequently, avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol. Drink before you are thirsty.  Consider the hottest part of the day, usually from 10:00am-2:00pm, and do the heaviest work before or after those hours.  Start work earlier, if possible, on high heat days.

Keeping water close by is imperative. Job site coolers should be plentiful and full of cool, 50-60 degree water. Come by Walker Miller Equipment for coolers available in several sizes. Beat the heat and stay healthy and hydrated during the hottest days of summer.