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How To Combat Heat Exposure When Working Outside Krystal Watson
How To Combat Heat Exposure When Working Outside

WHAT CAN EMPLOYEES DO TO COMBAT HEAT EXPOSURE?

  1. Drink sufficient amounts of water; multiply your body weight by 67%.
    Example: 175lbs x 0.67 = 117 fluid ounces, or 3451.5 mL (1 fl oz = 29.5 mL) spread throughout the day. 
  2. Additional water intake may be required for heavy exertion activities. 
  3. Wear loose fitting, light colored, breathable clothing that also covers exposed skin i.e.-ears and neck. 
  4. Use sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor of 30 or greater. 
  5. Take cool down breaks as necessary and work in the shade whenever possible. 
  6. Take notice of urine frequency and color – frequency of less than 3-4 times per day and/or darker colored urine would indicate dehydration. 

WHAT CAN EMPLOYERS AND SUPERVISORS DO TO HELP COMBAT HEAT EXPOSURE FOR THEIR WORKERS?

  • Place workers are in pairs to observe for potential warning signs of heat exposure illnesses. 
  • Make water readily available and accessible in all work areas.
  • Schedule frequent rest breaks or rotations for workers, especially heavy exertion activities. 
  • 10 am to 4 pm is when workers are at the highest risk of exposure, plan work accordingly. 
  • Utilize mechanical ventilation when possible for work in enclosed work spaces. 
  • Consider an acclimatization plan to gradually expose workers to hot environments: 
    • New workers – schedule 20% exposure increments over a 5 day period. 
    • Experienced workers – schedule 50%, 70%, 100% exposure increments over a 3 day period.



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