Summer Safety Reminders

Jul. 13, 2020

 

As summer approaches, Risk Management and Safety (RMS) would like to remind you of the importance of remaining safe, whether working indoors or outdoors, especially with temperatures consistently over 100 degrees.  Summer in Las Vegas can be uncomfortable for many. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious medical emergencies resulting from unhealthy and unsafe practices in hot environments. OSHA has provided some tips to remain safe and healthy in hot weather which include:

Water

  • Proper hydration is essential to prevent heat-related illness.  For short jobs, cool potable water is sufficient.  
  • Employees should be encouraged to drink at least one cup (8 ounces) of water every 20 minutes while working in the heat.
  • For longer jobs that last more than two hours, employees should drink electrolyte-containing beverages.

Rest & Shade

  • Heat conditions can change rapidly and employees should be monitored for signs of heat illnesses.
  • Breaks should be long enough and in a cool location for workers to recover from the heat.  
  • When taking breaks outdoors, it should be in a shady area, air-conditioned vehicle, nearby building or tent with fans or misting devices.  
  • When taking breaks indoors, employees should be allowed to rest in cool or air conditioned areas away from heat sources. 

Additional considerations include the type of clothing worn and food consumed.

Clothing - Dress appropriately: when outside, wear lightweight, natural fabrics and a head covering, if possible.

Foods

  • Eat light: Heavy and hot foods sometimes accelerate dehydration. 
  • Light, refreshing foods like fruits and vegetables help keep you hydrated.

RMS offers an online training course to help you recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stress and what you can do to protect yourself.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has provided guidance for working outdoors and indoor heat environments at  OSHA has additional information online

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has created a phone app that calculates the heat stress index and provides recommendations to prevent exposure at https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/heatapp.html