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Staying Cool on Heat Awareness Day

By Matt Wastradowski

Heat Awareness Day

For millions of Americans, summertime brings to mind sips of ice-cold lemonade, days at the beach, camping trips under the stars, or fun-filled family vacations.

Yet summer’s heat and humidity poses numerous hazards that can have life-altering consequences. To that end, the National Weather Service (NWS) has declared May 27, 2016 to be Heat Awareness Day. The NWS is hoping to educate the public on the dangers of prolonged heat exposure and bring attention to the deadly hazard.

Extreme heat also impacts thousands of employees who work outside, whether in farms, on roadways, or at construction sites. These tips, educational materials, and products can help workers stay safe and cool, even as temperatures rise over the coming months.

Prepare for the Heat

When temperatures rise, workers may try to stay cool by shedding vital PPE. Tempting as this may be, it’s important to take necessary precautions for remaining safe and not exposing themselves to unnecessary risks.

This list of tips outlines how workers can stay safe, even in warm temperatures. It includes recommendations for staying cool and hydrated, outlines symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and provides tips for shielding against the sun’s damaging UV rays.

Brush Up on Best Practices

Heat exposure leads to severe illness for thousands of workers every summer. Yet these illnesses are entirely preventable.

OSHA’s Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers explains heat-related illnesses, how it can be prevented, and who is impacted most by excessive heat.

OSHA's website also includes tips for staying safe outdoors. Some of those recommendations include:

  • Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Rest in the shade to cool down.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.

Get the Right Gear

Graphic Products carries a variety of heat stress items to help workers replace lost fluids, clothing to protect against extreme temperatures, and other accessories for staying cool on the job. Our selection includes Sqweeze Freezer Pops for hydration; a Coleman 10' x 10' Instant Canopy for shade; an Ergodyne Chill-Its 6602 Cooling Towel for relief; and more.