Don’t Try to Beat the Heat: Tools for Knowing When it’s too Hot to Work

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[Synopsis: We have to work, no matter the heat. Let’s just make sure we don’t get beat by it.]

In our industry, business is busiest when the heat is hottest. Yes, the crazy days of summer are coming fast, and it is time once again to put it in high gear.

But as our days fill up and our crews are stretched to the limit, let’s not forget that even superhumans like us are still human. Even while we tell ourselves to keep cranking no matter what the thermometer says, our bodies can only put up with so much. If we don’t pause to take care of our bodies we can lose a lot more than a few minutes of daylight.

As the Omaha World-Herald reported in August of last year, a moving company employee who was packing and loading boxes inside a truck on a day with a heat index of 112 suffered a heat stroke and, though transported to a local hospital, died that same day.

“If you’re working in those extreme triple digits, you’ve got to train your workers to recognize the symptoms of heat stroke and seek immediate medical attention,” said Darwin Craig of the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

In this article WebMD covers symptoms, treatment, risk factors and prevention as related to heat stroke. They also give information for recognizing and treating heat exhaustion.

There is also an app provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Association called the Heat Safety Tool, which provides the heat index and risk level of any given work site. It’s a free download for both Android and IOS, and is available here.

We’ve all been out there, sweating it up in the heat, kicking butt without thinking of slowing down until the job is done. But hey, that sun and that heat don’t care how strong and determined we are. So let’s take this issue seriously so we can all get our jobs done safely.

Action Against Distraction: Campaign to Stay Focused on the Road

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We see and hear the message all the time.

“Don’t Text and Drive!”

Makes sense when we’re cruising around on our own time, meeting up with friends and making plans on the fly. That text can wait a few extra minutes.

On the job, when we are working on the customer’s time, the situation changes.

But the importance of safety does not.

Dan McWilliams of McWilliams Moving & Storage in Peterborough, Ontario is responding to the all-too-common practice of texting while driving by initiating a campaign he calls Action Against Distraction. He’s calling attention to the importance of keeping our eyes and our minds on the road by placing decals on all his trucks with a simple message for everyone on the road: “The Safest Move You Can Make – Don’t Text & Drive.”

Texting, however, is not the sole target of the campaign.

“Distracted driving isn’t just about texting or talking on the phone while driving,” says Larry Morgan, safety and compliance officer for McWilliams Moving and Storage. Mr. Morgan goes on to say that it can be anything that distracts you visually, cognitively or physically, including eating, changing radio stations and looking around in the car for a dropped item.

I’ll raise my hand and admit my guilt. Anyone else out there?

Part of Action Against Distraction involves a contest for high school seniors, with cash prizes of $1,000 for writing essays or organizing community programs on distracted driving. While these may be out of our reach we can take part by reminding our own crews – not to mention our family and friends – about how easy it can be to get distracted on the road. And how serious the consequences can be.

Want to spread the word on your own vehicles?

We contacted McWilliams Moving & Storage about their campaign, inquiring specifically about the decals they are putting on all their trucks. We were put in touch with the guys at Auto Graphics in Peterborough who tell us their decals are available in three sizes, from 17” x 14” to 30” x 24”. For further details contact Auto Graphics toll-free at 1-877-430-3616.

And hey, stay safe out there!

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