While heat exhaustion is very dangerous, it is also very preventable! Individuals that are not used to working in the heat are at risk for heat exhaustion. Most of the people hospitalized or who died from heatstroke in the past few years were in their first few days on the job or were working during a heatwave. Heat exhaustion can often affect you before you realize it, so it’s essential to be aware of the signs.
OSHA has established new rules for workers who are in extreme heat conditions:
Water: Employers to provide cool water for workers to drink. Workers should be encouraged to drink at least 8 ounces of water every 20 minutes while working in the heat. Employers should provide electrolyte-containing beverages for longer jobs that last more than two hours. Water and other drinks should be provided in a location that is familiar to the workers, near the work, easy to access, and insufficient quantity for the duration of the work.
Rest: When heat stress is high, employers should require workers to take breaks. The length and frequency of rest breaks should increase as heat stress rises. Workers should be taking hourly intervals whenever heat stress exceeds established limits. Breaks should last long enough for workers to recover from the heat.
Shade: Workers should be given a cool location to take their breaks and recover from the heat. Outdoors might mean a shady area, an air-conditioned vehicle, a nearby building or tent, or an area with fans and misting devices. Indoors, workers should be allowed to rest in a cool or air-conditioned area away from heat sources such as ovens and furnaces.
GK Machine’s new portable Shade Trailers provide a shady place for outdoor workers to recover from the heat and provide drinking water storage with easy transport from location to location.