Are you doing everything you can to reduce your workers’ exposure to heat-related illness? Does your company have a heat illness prevention program? We’ve got you covered with these tips and guidelines to keep your workers safe and productive during these hot summer days. Training and education must be provided for all employees and supervisors who work in high temperatures for an extended period of time. Topics covered in training should include how heat can affect the body, how to identify the signs and symptoms of various heat illnesses, and what steps to take if a worker has symptoms of heat-related illness or if they notice a co-worker with symptoms. Emphasize to employees the importance of getting plenty of water, shade, and rest, especially on days when temperatures are higher than normal or when they are performing tasks that put them at greater risk of heat-related illnesses. Explain to workers that in addition to heat and humidity, certain work environments such as roofing or roadworks, exposure to the sun, and body heat from physical exertion can all lead to heat-related illnesses. Availability of water An ample source of cold drinking water should be provided within easy reach of all workers on the construction site. The general rule is a quart of water per employee per hour during their shift. Remind workers that they should not wait until they are thirsty. It is best to drink small amounts on a frequent basis. If workers want extra drinks at the construction site, encourage them to bring something that contains electrolytes, such as coconut water or sports drinks, to make up for lost sweat. Provide shade As a general rule, once temperatures begin to reach 80 degrees Fahrenheit, workers should be provided shade from the sun during breaks and rest periods. Full shade is needed for workers so that they can cool off. Examples include tents, site trailers, vehicles, or ventilated buildings. Workers should be encouraged to rest and cool off in shaded areas throughout the day. Shaded areas should be easily accessible, especially if the worker begins to have symptoms of heat illness and needs help getting out of the sun. Acclimatization workers need to acclimatize to working in higher temperatures. It can take anywhere from a few days to two weeks for workers to fully adjust to the heat. Once your body is fully acclimated to the heat, you will start to sweat earlier and at a faster rate and your sweat will contain less sodium. All of this allows your body to retain more water and cool you better. Acclimatization will also improve blood flow and reduce heart rate when working in high temperatures. Intense activity should be limited during the first few days of acclimatization. Workloads should be increased gradually each day as the body gets used to the hard work in the heat. It is important to monitor workers during this process because they are more likely to develop heat illness before their bodies have adapted to the heat. Watch the forecast As the heat index rises during the day, so does the risk level for workers suffering from heat illnesses. Supervisors and safety managers must monitor expectations for each day so that appropriate protective measures can be implemented. The heat index is a combination of air temperature and relative humidity and is used to find out how hot it is outside. OSHA has a free thermostat security tool app for iPhone and Android devices. Instead of having to enter both temperature and humidity manually, the app can automatically pull weather data for your current location from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and calculate the heat index and hazard level along with the precautions to take. The app lets you choose between current data or elevated forecasts for the day, or you can manually enter both temperature and humidity to calculate the heat index. Monitoring of employees Workers should be monitored frequently throughout the day to ensure that they do not show any signs or symptoms of heat illness. This can be as simple as verbal communication with all workers to take more advanced measures such as checking the employee’s heart rate, temperature, blood pressure and water loss. Workers should be responsible for self-monitoring as well and should report any symptoms to a supervisor immediately. Connecting workers with the buddy system is also a great way to monitor all your workers. Workers should be aware that personal risk factors can make them more susceptible to heat illness. These factors include age, general health, level of acclimatization, alcohol consumption, prescribed medications, and the amount of water consumed throughout the day. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches. Dizziness; weakness; cold, pale, or clammy skin; fast or weak pulse; nausea, vomiting, fainting; Not all of these symptoms will necessarily appear if you suffer from heat exhaustion. Heatstroke symptoms include a high body temperature (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit). hot, red, dry, or clammy skin; trouble breathing; confusion; spasm; Excessive sweating, rapid and strong pulse, and possible loss of consciousness. Heat stroke is the most serious of the two main types of heat illness. Heatstroke can cause severe damage to the brain, heart, liver, kidneys, and muscles. Take Preventive Measures The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has compiled the following chart of preventive measures to be taken based on the heat index and its associated risk level: thermometer – risk level – protective measures <91 درجة فهرنهايت - توفير مياه الشرب - تأكد من توفر الخدمات الطبية الكافية - خطط مسبقًا للأوقات التي تكون فيها الحرارة المؤشر أعلى ، بما في ذلك تدريب العمال على السلامة الحرارية ، شجع العمال على ارتداء واقي من الشمس ، قم بتأقلم العمال إذا كان يجب على العمال ارتداء ملابس واقية ثقيلة ، أو القيام بنشاط شاق أو العمل في الشمس المباشرة ، يوصى باحتياطات إضافية لحماية العمال من الأمراض المرتبطة بالحرارة. درجة فهرنهايت إلى 103 درجة فهرنهايت معتدلة بالإضافة إلى الخطوات المذكورة أعلاه: ذكّر العمال بشرب الماء كثيرًا (حوالي 4 أكواب / ساعة) ** راجع موضوعات الأمراض المرتبطة بالحرارة مع العمال: كيفية التعرف على الأمراض المرتبطة بالحرارة ، وكيفية الوقاية منها ، وماذا تفعل إذا مرض شخص ما جدولة فترات راحة متكررة في منطقة باردة ومظللة. الأمراض المرتبطة بالحرارة إذا كان يجب على العمال ارتداء ملابس واقية ثقيلة أو أداء نشاط شاق أو العمل في الشمس المباشرة ، يوصى باحتياطات إضافية لحماية العمال من الأمراض المرتبطة بالحرارة. * جدولة الأنشطة في وقت يكون فيه مؤشر الحرارة أقل تطوير العمل / جداول الراحة راقب العمال عن كثب من 103 درجة فهرنهايت إلى 115 درجة فهرنهايت مرتفع بالإضافة إلى الخطوات المذكورة أعلاه: تنبيه العمال للظروف شديدة الخطورة شجع العمال بنشاط على شرب الكثير من الماء (حوالي 4 أكواب / ساعة) ** الحد من المجهود البدني (على سبيل المثال استخدام المصاعد الميكانيكية) لديك شخص مطلع في موقع العمل يكون على دراية جيدة بالأمراض المرتبطة بالحرارة وقادر على تحديد جداول العمل / الراحة المناسبة إنشاء وتنفيذ جداول العمل / الراحة.ضبط أنشطة العمل (على سبيل المثال ، إعادة جدولة العمل ، وتيرة / تناوب الوظائف ) استخدم تقنيات التبريد راقب / تواصل مع العمال في جميع الأوقات ، عندما يكون ذلك ممكنًا ، أعد جدولة الأنشطة إلى وقت يكون فيه مؤشر الحرارة أقل> 115°F Very high to severe Reschedule non-essential activity for the day s with a low heat index or to a time when the heat index is low. Move essential work tasks to the coldest part of the work shift; Consider early start times, split shifts, or evening and night shifts. Heavy work tasks and those that require the use of heavy, non-breathable or impermeable chemical protective clothing should not be performed when the temperature index is 115°F or higher. If essential work must be done, in addition to the above steps: Alert workers to the dangers of extreme heat. Establish a water drinking schedule (approximately 4 cups/hour) ** Establish and enforce preventive work/rest schedules Conduct physiological monitoring (eg, pulse, temperature, etc.) Discontinue if basic control methods are inadequate or unavailable. * The Heat Index is a simple tool and useful guide for employers making decisions about worker protection in hot weather. Do not take into account some conditions that contribute to additional risks, such as physical exertion. Consider taking steps at the highest level of the following hazards to protect workers from the additional hazards they pose: Working in direct sun (which can add up to 15°F to the heat index value) Wearing heavy clothing or protective equipment** In most circumstances you should Fluid intake should not exceed 6 cups per hour or 12 liters per day. This makes it particularly important to reduce work rates, reschedule work, or enforce work/rest schedules. Emergency Actions Immediate action should be taken as soon as a worker is noticed or reports any signs or symptoms of heat illness. In the event of an emergency, call 911 immediately. Both workers and supervisors must be able to give their current location and description of symptoms to the 911 dispatcher. First aid must be given to the worker based on their symptoms. For heat stress or convulsions, workers should be moved to a cool, shaded area and given plenty of cold water to drink. Tight clothing should be loosened and ice packs applied until the worker feels better. If heat exhaustion does not improve or gets worse after an hour of rest, the worker should seek medical attention. For heat stroke, call 911 immediately and begin giving first aid. This includes moving to an air-conditioned area where they can lie down and removing any unnecessary clothing. Cool the body by applying ice packs to the armpits, groin, back and neck to lower core body temperature. Alternatives include moistening the skin while aerating the air over the body or immersion in cold water or an ice bath. Make a plan The key to keeping your workers safe and preventing heat-related illnesses on your construction site is to have a written heat illness prevention program in place as part of your company’s overall policy. Looking for more ways to beat the heat this summer? Check out these tips for keeping cool on the construction site. Work smart and be safe!