Water, rest and shade. Those are the three things OSHA recommends for staying safe as temperatures continue to rise into the 90s and beyond.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is reminding employers that precaution is important during the hot, summer months. Workers often suffer from heat exposure, and can be hospitalized, or even die, as a result.
There were 13 heat-related hospitalizations and seven deaths associated with heat exposure between Oct. 1, 2014 and April 28, 2017.
“Employers can take a few easy steps to prevent heat illness including scheduling frequent water breaks, allowing ample time to rest, and providing shade,” OSHA Regional Administrator in Kansas City Kimberly Stille said in a release.
On hot days, the agency recommends frequent breaks in a cool or shady environment, and drinking water every 15 minutes. OSHA also urges employers to allow new workers to acclimate and build up resistance to the increased temperatures. A recent study of heat-related workplace fatalities found that most occurred during the worker’s first week on the job.
OSHA’s water, rest and shade technique has value outside the workplace as well. According to the American Red Cross, folks should take frequent breaks, stay hydrated and not be in the sun too long during the hottest months.
The Red Cross recommends drinking water frequently — even if you don’t feel thirsty — and staying away from drinks containing caffeine or alcohol.
The Red Cross also reminds folks to keep a close eye on pets. Make sure pets have plenty of water, a place to get out of the sun and never leave them in an enclosed vehicle.