As summer approaches, it’s important to take steps to minimize heat-related injuries among employees who work outside or in poorly-ventilated environments. Exposure to extreme heat can cause illness, strokes, and even death. Summer workers, including construction workers, farm workers, firefighters, factory workers, and more, are at high risk of experiencing heat exhaustion.

At Doeren Mayhew Insurance Group, we recognize how unforgiving the summer heat can be for many employees. In fact, approximately 430 workers have died from environmental heat exposure in the U.S. since 2011. This statistic showcases the importance of monitoring and preventing heat exhaustion for those working in extreme temperatures.

Know the Signs

When temperatures rise, heat stress can present itself as headaches, weakness, confusion, and vomiting. Even the most hydrated workers may experience symptoms of heat exhaustion, which may be characterized by other signs such as heavy sweating, dizziness, and extreme thirst. Be sure summer workers are regularly monitored for any indication of a heat illness.

Create a Response Plan

In the event of a heat-related emergency, it’s important to have a step-by-step response plan in place. This empowers all those involved to stay calm and take care of any employee who experiences heat exhaustion. Avoid potential pitfalls during an urgent situation by outlining who should call 911, contact a supervisor, and attend to the worker who has fallen ill.

Train Employees on Heat Stress Prevention

Empower all summer workers to keep themselves safe from heat exhaustion by staying hydrated, wearing sunscreen, knowing the signs of heat illnesses, and wearing proper attire. By training employees on heat stress prevention — and informing them of your organization’s response plan — everyone will be prepared to effectively manage a heat-related emergency.

Provide Hydration Stations

Business owners can help prevent heat exhaustion by setting up hydration stations. Employees should have consistent access to clear drinking water while on the job. In fact, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) even requires employers to provide potable water to all workers.

Allow for Regular Breaks

Did you know that the heat index can increase by 15°F when working in direct sunlight? Summer workers need to take frequent breaks in shaded or air-conditioned space so they can hydrate and refuel. Our bodies need time to adjust to being exposed to high temperatures. There’s also the risk for sunburns or blisters that can interfere with work performance.

How We Can Help

At Doeren Mayhew Insurance Group, we know how important workplace safety is for many businesses. As such, we provide specialized guidance through risk management alongside our customized insurance solutions that help to protect against a variety of risks. Request a consultation to discuss your unique needs with one of our trusted insurance advisors.