Risks of Working in Extremely Hot Environments

Generally speaking, summer is a time of year where many workers are delighted to finally enjoy some warmth, sunshine and clear blue skies. However, this is also a time of year where temperatures soar, humidity rises, and heat can play a signature role in daily operations. There are risks that come with working in extremely hot environments. Unfortunately, it can go beyond mild discomfort. Extreme heat can cause severe dehydration and fatigue which can lead to cardiac-related complications and heat stroke. The effects of which can be deadly. Do your employees work in extremely hot environments? Are you looking to ascertain the risks and hazards that go with working in these conditions? Here is a comprehensive guide to the risks of working in extremely hot environments:

1) The Umbrella Danger of Dehydration – Failing to stay hydrated can create a plethora of disastrous consequences. In exceptionally hot environments, failing to drink adequate amounts of water can lead to heat stroke or cardiac conditions, both of which can be treacherous. The recommended course of action is to have eight glasses of water per day. It is championed to make it twelve glasses of H20 if employees are involved in vigorous physical activity. As a general whole, all employees and personnel are at risk of dehydration. However, there are certain groups that are even more prone to the dangers of these conditions.

2) Elderly Personnel – Older employees may struggle working in these conditions regardless of the nature or scope of the work. It is imperative to take this into consideration if you have any employees that are over the age of 65. However, populations above the age of 50 have been proven to not be able to withstand the rigors of these atmospheres compared to that of a 30-year old employee. All these considerations must be made previous to engaging in an operation.

3) Previous Cardiac Events – Any individual that has had a heart attack previously is prone to complications from working in these environments. The stress of the conditions in general can challenge the healthiest of hearts. For those that have had previous heart-related concerns and issues, the added stress on the recovering muscle can be detrimental. It is recommended to take 15-minute breaks for every two hours of labor. For these employees, frequency and duration need to be enhanced.

4) High Blood Pressure – Coinciding with those that have had cardiac-related conditions, those with high blood pressure are also at risk in these conditions. According to EHS, those that conform to this population should avoid working in this environment altogether. In addition to the troubles that can be purveyed, general staff are susceptible to heat rash, overexertion, dizzy spells, and atrophy.

5) Type 1 Diabetics – This fifth group of workers is a bit of a wildcard. Moreover, we are focused on the diabetics that are insulin-dependent. For those on regular injections or insulin pump, extreme heat can cause insulin to metabolize quicker, which in turn causes blood sugar to lower faster. In addition, the heat can sometimes make it hard for diabetics to pick up the symptoms of hypoglycemia.

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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