Every year, thousands of worker become sick from exposure to heat, and some even die. Heat illnesses and death are preventable if you follow these basic heat safety tips.
- Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty. When temperatures climb above 90 degrees, it's important to drink at least a gallon of liquid per day, preferably water.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and beverages that are carbonated or contain caffeine when temperatures are high, as they can lead to dehydration.
- Take extra breaks and rest in the shade to cool down.
- Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
- Move your exercise routine to early morning or later in the evening.
- Never ever leave a person or a pet in the car in hot conditions while you run to do a quick errand. Cars can become overheated quickly and when overheated become like ovens. It's never safe.
- Know the signs and symptoms of heat-related health problems.
- Properly supervise children during outdoor play, being sure to monitor them closely and frequently.
- Keep an eye on fellow workers.
- Seek medical care right away if you become nauseous, start vomiting or experience cramps.
Additional information can be found on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration- Campaign to prevent Heat illness web site www.osha.gov/sltc/heatillness/index.html