The Heat is On: Protect Your Workers from the Summer Sun

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With the official start of summer, workers need to begin to take extra precautions when working in the summer heat.

With heat stress and heat exposure strong possibilities this time of year, workers have to be aware of these risks and how to prevent them.

Heat exposure can cause many different illnesses, such as heat edema, heat rashes, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat syncope and heat stroke. The most serious of these illnesses is heat stroke.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: nausea or irritability; dizziness; muscle cramps or weakness; feeling faint; headache; fatigue; thirst; heavy sweating and high body temperature.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) suggests the following treatment for heat exhaustion:

  • Provide medical care to affected worker.
  • Move worker to a cooler, shaded area.
  • Remove as much clothing as possible (including shoes and socks).
  • Apply cool, wet cloths or ice to head, face or neck. Spray with cool water.
  • Provide worker with water, clear juice and a sports drink

Heat exhaustion can turn into heat stroke. Symptoms of heat stroke are hot, dry skin or profuse sweating; confusion; loss of consciousness; seizures; and a very high body temperature.

The treatment of heat stroke is similar to the treatment for heat exhaustion. However, it is not recommended to force a worker suffering from heat stroke to drink liquids. Also, it’s important to call 911 immediately if you feel a worker does have heat stroke.

Make sure your workers know how to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and understand how important it is to get help quickly.

When you need to provide workers with the supplies they need to stay safe on the job, count on Seton. Give us a call at 855-581-1218 or visit http://www.seton.ca and we can help you select the safety products you need.

Product Spotlight: Heat Stress Protection

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Beat the heat this summer with proper equipment and gear. Follow these tips, and rely on Seton to help keep your workplace safe and cool.

  • Check the forecast and alert staff to avoid the sun during peak hours if possible (11am – 4pm)
  • Use water resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF of at least 15, and re-apply generously every 2 hours
  • Wear wrap-around safety glasses that block ultraviolet and visible light
  • Dress in loose-fitting pants, long sleeve shirts, and wide brim hats
  • Clean air conditioning ducts, weather-strip doors and windows, and install blinds, awnings, and fans where necessary
  • Ensure first aid kits are complete, clearly marked, and easy to locate
  • Take frequent breaks, pay attention to your surroundings, and stay hydrated!

Stay Cool This Summer to Avoid Heat-Related Emergencies

Heat-Related Emergencies

Summer is approaching rapidly, and it’s once again time to protect yourself from the sun! Though this change in temperatures comes yearly, that’s no reason to be complacent when it comes to heat-related emergencies and injuries! It might seem like a trivial concern to be worried about “a little sunshine” on the job, but afflictions such as heat stroke, heat cramps, and heat exhaustion are no laughing matter!

Even the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has its own legally defined temperatures to guide the continuation and stoppage of work. CCOSH recommends that you adjust your working time depending on the type of task and the outside temperature. This is especially important in open-air work zones such as construction, mining and other labour-intensive duties, where physical exertion can quickly raise your body temperatures and outdoor conditions cause dehydration. According to CCOHS guidelines, you should spend up to 50 percent of your time resting if you’re conducting heavy labour such as shoveling, digging and carrying in temperatures of at least 27.5°C.

Croc Bloc Sunscreen

Choose sunscreen that could be easily dispensed without the mess.

You should also hydrate regularly and take note of medications you take. Most victims of heat stroke don’t even notice their own symptoms, so work closely with attentive co-workers. Check for various symptoms of heat-related emergencies such as:

  • Muscle cramps (often in the legs and abdomen)
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness, fainting and lack of energy
  • Reddened, pale (more so than usual) or clammy skin
  • Rapid shallow breathing or hyperventilation
  • Irritable, bizarre or aggressive behaviour

When confronted with these symptoms, immediately address the heat-related emergency and do the following:

  • Drink plenty of cool fluids such as water.
  • Apply  sunscreen (with SPF 15 or higher) to prevent unnecessary sunburns.
  • Avoid excessive outdoor work.
  • Take cover in the shade.
  • Wear light or loose clothing to maximize air circulation and heat dispersal.
  • Use cool therapy packs when working under direct sunlight to keep body temperatures even.

These tips, combined with common sense, should help you and your workers deal with the threat of heat-related emergencies!