In conjunction with National Safety Month, Grainger, North America’s largest distributor of safety products, shares five quick tips to help workers stay cool this summer.
1) Drink water moderately, but often - Whether outside or in a facility with no air conditioning, drink small amounts of water every 15 minutes, even if you're not thirsty. Avoid drinking large quantities of water at once to avoid sodium depletion, which can cause fainting, fatigue and cramping, among other negative symptoms.
2) Choose a sunscreen that offers "full spectrum" protection - A sunscreen's SPF rating is not always the best way to verify the best product. Some sunscreens with high SPF protect from UVB rays only, so look for one that offers UVA protection as well. If you are in an outdoor work environment where you risk bug bites, put on sunscreen first, followed by insect repellent. Also, be sure to check out the FDA’s new regulations to sunscreen products for more information on this topic.
3) Wear safety glasses with UV protection - It is not just your skin that needs protection while out in the sun. Eyes can easily suffer from too much sun exposure, so when selecting safety glasses for a job site, select a pair that offers UV protection. Many clear polycarbonate lenses offer as much UV protection as tinted lens, so research with your safety supplier to learn what glasses will provide protection and work for your functional needs.
4) Choose lightweight clothing - If appropriate in the work environment, wear clothing that is non-confining and made of a light, breathable fabric, like cotton. When choosing safety accessories, such a reflective vest, select one that is lightweight to avoid excessive sweating and warmth.
5) Know the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke - Heat exhaustion occurs when you've been exposed to high temperatures and you become dehydrated. If ignored, heat exhaustion can result in heat stroke, which is when the body's core temperature exceeds 105 degrees and starts to lose consciousness. When in doubt, call 911 if you or a co-worker becomes ill in the summer heat.
“Providing a healthy and safe working environment for your employees is important in managing a successful organization,” said Kirsten Elms-Kelleher, Safety Services & Solutions Development Manager, Grainger. “Education and prevention are critical to keeping workers safe on the job this summer and all year round.”
Grainger has a safety catalog with more than 50,000 safety products in categories such as workplace safety, employee and guest safety, first aid and public safety, environmental safety and product safety. In addition to products, Grainger has expanded its safety services to include safety training, first aid replenishment and more. Grainger Online SafetyManagerSM, launched earlier this year, provides easy-to-use online management tools that help businesses manage safety and risk more efficiently and cost effectively, as well as other tools to help reduce workplace injuries, accidents and workplace related fines. Grainger’s KeepStock™ portfolio of managed inventory solutions helps customers maintain their safety product inventory to fit their unique business needs.
For more information about how to prevent heat related injuries, review the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers.