As summer temperatures climb, protecting your body by hydrating and getting enough rest is vital. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, there are 702 heat-related deaths yearly. And that number rises by a factor of 10 for heat-related hospitalizations. An Occupational Health and Safety Administration study found that temperature comfort [in both the field and the office] directly correlates to employee satisfaction, safety and improved productivity.
Proper hydration and rest are crucial to preventing heat-related illness. Here is a list of ways to ensure you and your crews protect yourselves from overheating this summer:
Fill Your Water Bottle
Having a reusable water bottle with you can help you get into the habit of sipping water throughout the day.
Avoid Other Beverages
Skip caffeine-heavy drinks like coffee and soda. Not only will your hydration improve, but you might notice a change in weight by cutting the empty calories.
Track Your Intake
It can be hard to track how much water you drink throughout the day. Look for a system that fits in your workflow.
Switch Your Snacks
Prepackaged, processed food tends to have low water content, which can dehydrate you when you need an afternoon snack. Instead of munching on pretzels or chips, bring snacks with high water content, such as fruit, smoothies, or veggies.
15-Minute Breaks Should Be Taken Every Hour
Sun and heat exposure can quickly overwhelm the body, particularly when the heat and humidity indices are high. In a perfect world, you would allow yourself a break every 15 minutes, preferably in a shaded area.
You can also prevent heat-related incidents by resting at the height of the day. That can mean taking breaks more frequently to keep you and your team safe on the ground.
Check the Weather
Anticipate the heat index for the day and consider the precautions in place to help avoid heat-related illness.
Set Up a Buddy System
Learn to look for signs or symptoms of heat-related illness in each other.
Protect Your Skin
Wear sunscreen and reapply every two to three hours. Wear light-colored, loose clothing.