Businesses take steps to protect employees from summer heat
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - August through September is traditionally where we see the hottest days of the East Texas summer, and summer heat is a danger to anyone who works for any period of time in it. But there are advised policies businesses can practice to help their employees guard against heat dangers.
Ranging from the high 90′s to triple digits, the temperatures and high humidity can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Something businesses should pay close attention to.
“The higher the humidity, the less sweat that can evaporate from your body which causes the body not to cool as quickly. First of all you need to have a plan in place and know what your work environment is,” says Joe David, a ‘senior industrialist hygiene specialist’, risk division with Travelers Insurance.
Those who work outside are clearly the most exposed to the heat, in professions like construction, landscaping, exterminators and plumbing.
But it’s those who do the more physical labor that are most at risk.
“Manually shoveling gravel builds up much more metabolic heat that running a front end loader,” Joe says.
Even with a short reprieve of upper 90 degree temperatures, workers have to be cognizant of the heat. And it’s not just those who work outside.”
“It’s also applicable inside occupations, not all manufacturing facilities are air conditioned. Are you working near a boiler or furnace and that could be inside or outside,” says David.
One of the most important things for employers is knowing the signs of an employee effected by the heat.
“Most important thing is having managers, supervisors recognize the signs and symptoms. Heat cramps, body will cramp up, muscle spasms. Dizziness, confused, profuse sweating, those are signs of heat related illnesses.
If the symptoms persist, you must call for medical attention. In any business there should be trained first aid providers on staff,” says Joe.
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