When the temperature and humidity rise, so do the risks of heat-related illnesses and even death. In fact, heat is the leading weather-related cause of death in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 39 workers died of heat-related illnesses in 2016.
Here’s what you can do to stay cool in the heat, according to OSHA and the Center for Construction Research and Training:
- Drink 8 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t wait until you are thirsty.
- Take frequent breaks in a cool, shaded or air-conditioned area.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored, breathable clothing.
- Consider cooling vests, bandanas, hats and other personal protective equipment that reduce heat stress.
- Get trained on heat hazards and heat-illness prevention (your employer should provide this) and keep an eye out for coworkers showing signs of heat stress.
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