If you're working outside under the hot August sun, you know that staying cool can be a challenge. It's vital to your productivity and safety, of course, so take the proper steps to keep the heat from striking you down:
- Water. Drink lots of it. Keep a water bottle handy in a shaded location so it doesn't get too warm, and try to drink at least a cup every 20 minutes, whether you feel thirsty or not.
- Shade. Avoid direct exposure to the sun when possible. Look for areas that aren't already hot from sunlight earlier in the day, and where breezes can cool the air somewhat. Remember your sunscreen.
- Breaks. Supervisors shouldn't expect workers to stay on the job without rest for a full eight hours. Schedule regular breaks so everyone has a chance to cool down, get some water, and recover from the heat. Acclimation. The body can learn to adapt to hot conditions, but don 't force it. Build up your tolerance for heat by gradually extending the amount of time you work in the sun.
- Buddies. Keep an eye on your co-workers, and ask them to watch you for any signs of heat-related illness.
People often don't recognize the symptoms quickly enough.