Heat Safety at Work: Acción’s Hydration Campaign
As summers get hotter and hotter with each passing year, heat-related injuries and illness become more and more of a concern for supply chain companies and warehouses. Taking a proactive approach to heat safety is essential for employees’ health. For Acción, this has taken the form of our Hydration Campaign, where we offer ample water while also educating our staff about the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Heat Safety with New Employees
Extra caution needs to be taken if acclimating a new or returning employees to a working environment where heat is an issue. Nearly 75% of heat-related fatalities in the workplace occur during an employee’s first week of work. It is important to follow the 20% rule: new teammates should work no more than 20% of their first day at full intensity in the heat. Afterward, they should increase the time at full intensity by no more than 20% each day until they are fully acclimated to the heat.
During our Hydration Campaign, we offered our teammates water bottles to fill with water and Gatorade, as well as cooling towels to help prevent overheating. Along with these, we offered pamphlets outlining essential heat safety information, such as signs of heat stroke and ways to prevent it. We also make sure to always have ample air ventilation throughout our facilities to prevent excessive heat.
Heat Safety Tips
Education is one of the best preventative measures in terms of heat safety in the workplace. Here are some important tips to share with staff:
- Drink water regularly
- Take frequent rest breaks, ideally in shade or cooler areas
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
- Monitor yourself and others for signs of heat illness
Be sure to also educate your staff about the signs of heat illness. These can include:
- Headache or nausea
- Weakness or dizziness
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive sweating
- In extreme cases, slurred speech, seizures, or loss of consciousness
Heat safety is a real issue that warehouses and supply chain companies need to address, and the Acción team has taken proactive steps to empower our teammates to stay safe and healthy in warmer conditions.