Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hot and Cold Illness: use say "hot", I say "remember to acclimate"

As a dad of three boys I have come to expect the unexpected. I have even learned how to put in stitches when necessary. Parenting and Seattle weather have a lot in common. Conditions are always changing and preparedness is key. This month I wish to remind people of the significance of hot weather and employee well being. Last weekend our weather was hot and at times fairly humid. As I am writing this newsletter @ 9:00 PM, it is still warm and humid. It is important to remember that acclimation is key to worker well being during extreme weather conditions (hot or cold). As my 5 year son became flushed, cranky and sluggish during a brief walk/play yesterday in 85 degree weather, I am reminded just how fast a person can be affected by the heat. We in the Puget Sound see such wide range of temperature fluctuation, it is hard to acclimate and special attention should be made to Hot and Cold Illness. Tips for staying "cool" during our Puget Sound weather:
Planning (sufficient water, covered shelter, adjusting rest breaks, lunches and work hours)
Watch all employees more closely this summer it promises to be a hot one. Pay particular attention to new hires and returning workers with special attention to those workers who are not acclimated.
Encourage workers to eat smaller amounts of food more often, keep them hydrated and encourage abstaining from alcohol and tobacco products.
Train workers to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stress, heat exhaustion and deadly heat stroke.
Remember that no one immediately suffers heat related illnesses. Heat related illness is highly preventable and the symptoms are readily apparent.
Not everyone tolerates the heat. We are all different. If someone has had a previous heat related illness they are more susceptible to the heat.
Don't forget that Labor & Industries has a "Outdoor Heat Exposure" Regulation go to

To download a heat index table visit our course website: under Health and Safety (FREE)

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