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Summer is here, and temperatures are rising. You enjoy your warehouse job, but the hot weather can make work more challenging — and potentially dangerous.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, dozens of workers die from heat injury, and thousands more fall ill in extreme heat or humidity. It’s important to know how to stay safe in this type of environment, so use these tips to protect yourself.

Know Your Rights

More than just something nice to do, under OSHA law, your employer is required to create a workplace free of known safety hazards — including extreme heat. This involves implementing a heat illness prevention program that ensures you’re given access to water, rest, and shade; helping you acclimatize to working in the heat; planning for emergencies and providing training on prevention, and keeping a close watch for the signs of heat illness.

Hopefully, your employer will take these steps on their own. However, it’s important to know your rights, so you can speak up if you don’t receive the proper treatment.

Recognize the Signs of Heat Injury

Heat injury can take on a variety of forms, including heatstroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat rash, and heat fatigue. It’s important to know how to recognize the signs of each illness, so you can take swift action if you feel like you’re experiencing symptoms.

For example, the signs of heat exhaustion include headache, dizziness, or fainting; weakness and wet skin; irritability or confusion; and thirst, nausea, or vomiting, according to OSHA.

Dress Appropriately

The clothing you wear to work can help or hinder your ability to beat the heat. OSHA advises wearing lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes to help your body stay cool. Conversely, some materials, including waterproof clothing, can retain heat and increase your body temperature.

Stay Hydrated

Sweating takes a lot of fluid from your body, so you need to replenish it. OSHA recommends drinking at least one pint of water per hour when working in the heat. This might seem like a lot, but it’s necessary to stay healthy.

Take Breaks

As a hard worker, you aren’t someone who wants to take frequent breaks. However, working in the heat is tough on the body, so doing so is important, according to OSHA. Be sure to rest in shaded or air-conditioned areas to properly lower your body temperature.

Searching for a summer warehouse job in the Northern Indiana/Southwestern Michigan area? Wood Staffing has the perfect fit. Contact us today to get started!

 

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