[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.