summer safety tips for warehouse workers
Summer is here, and pools are opening in neighborhoods everywhere to help people beat the heat. However, beating the heat in the warehouse isn’t always easy, especially if you’re wearing bulky, protective clothing. Warehouses can reach high temperatures in the summer season. It is important that workers take appropriate precautions to avoid heat illnesses, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
While some people may think that the summer heat only affects outside workers, that is simply not true. Cooling a large warehouse with high ceilings can be a difficult task as the sun beats down on the roof and temperatures inside steadily climb higher and higher. What should you look out for as the temperature increases? Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the following safety tips to keep yourself cool in the warehouse this summer.
This may seem like an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised! Many of us either forget to regularly drink water, or we do not drink enough to ensure that we’re replacing our fluids and staying hydrated. As a general rule, one pint of water per hour is needed. However, you should be drinking enough water that you never feel thirsty throughout the workday. If you still find yourself getting thirsty, or if the temperature continues to rise, increase your water intake to remain hydrated.
Utilize a Work/Rest Cycle
When possible, it is important to distribute your workload evenly throughout the day to avoid being exposed to heat for an extended period of time. For example, a typical work/rest cycle might call for a rest period of 15 minutes every hour during hot weather. By taking a small break, your heart rate and production of internal body heat will slow, the blood flow to your skin will improve and your body will have an opportunity to cool itself down.
Simply remaining alert and looking out for signs of heat illness can help prevent severe injuries. When someone is suffering from a heat illness, time is of the essence. Here are a few common heat illnesses and the symptoms to look out for:
- Heat cramps – Painful muscular cramps caused by a loss of salt and water due to strenuous activity.
- Symptoms – Muscle cramps, pain, spasms in the arms, legs or abdomen.
- First Aid – Stop all activity and sit in a cool or shaded place, drink a sports beverage or drink water with food (avoid salt tablets), do not return to strenuous work for a few hours until the cramps subside.
- Heat exhaustion – A condition occurring when the body experiences an excessive loss of water and salt, often through sweating.
- Symptoms – Heavy sweating, extreme weakness or fatigue, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, irritability, fast and shallow breathing, slightly elevated body temperature and nausea or vomiting.
- First Aid – Rest in a cool or shaded area, drink plenty of water or a sports drink, take a cool shower or put cold, wet towels on your neck and forehead.
- Heatstroke – A condition occurring when the body is unable to control its temperature. Heatstroke is a medical emergency and can result in permanent disability or death.
- Symptoms – Elevated body temperatures, loss of coordination, confusion, throbbing headache, seizures, coma, and hot, dry skin or profuse sweating.
- First Aid – Request immediate medical assistance, move the worker to a cool and shaded area, remove excess clothing and apply cool water to the body.
If you see a co-worker who seems to be experiencing any of the symptoms above, make sure to notify a supervisor immediately. If you believe you are seeing signs of heatstroke, call 911 immediately for medical assistance.
Remain hydrated, work smart and stay alert to beat the heat in the warehouse this summer!
At NOTS Logistics, we take workplace safety extremely seriously, as the wellbeing and success of our employees is our priority. During the summer season, we implement these safety tips as well as other programs to protect our workers. We provide these types of workforce management services for our clients as well. Learn more at: https://notslogistics.com/workforce-management/.
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17848 Mockingbird Road
Nashville, IL 62263
Phone: (800) 642-5436
Fax: (618) 478-5356