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Hot, Hot, Hot!

Aug 15th, 2016 | By | Category: Geri Roskopf's Blog

Geri RoskopfI finally had a Saturday off from work at the shop which meant I had work to do at home – mow the lawn, trimming, pull weeds and then trim the front bushes. It was a hot, humid day but I was determined to get everything done. I was fine until I got to the trimming of the bushes and suddenly I was sweating, dizzy, my heart was racing and I felt ill and ready to pass out. The heat got to me and — wow — I was down for the count.

Hot summer days can spell trouble for those who work outdoors in direct sunlight or in hot environments, making them susceptible to heat-induced illnesses such as heat stress, heat exhaustion or the more serious heat stroke. I realized all of the factors that led to my own heat stress: high temperature and humidity, physical exertion and not eating or drinking sufficient water.

Just like in winter weather conditions, I worry about my tow operators working outside on the roads in hot, summer temps. Here’s some safety tips for working in the heat that I passed along to them:

• You’re going to sweat— it’s a given. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Water is best. Electrolytic beverages such as Gatorade work too. Designer beverages such as Red Bull should be avoided as well as carbonated sodas or anything with caffeine.

• I know there are a lot of tow operators who smoke, but cutting down on cigarettes helps with breathing in high heat.

• Use sunscreen, wear a hat and change clothing if it gets completely saturated.

• Use a damp rag to wipe your face and/or put around your neck.

• Slow down and work at an even pace with rest periods and water breaks.

• Eat smaller meals and avoid high protein or heavy foods.

I know my employees must think I am a mother hen but I speak from experience. Besides, if they don’t listen to me they will be facing a different kind of hot temperature!