Beat the Heat: Summer Safety Tips for the Warehouse
It has been a hot summer filled with record high temperatures and prolonged heat waves. While the sunny season can be fun, it can also be hazardous to your health – especially if working long hours in a warehouse environment.
At BelFlex, we succeed together by putting our employees first. We work to ensure that our team is able to stay safe and healthy in all working conditions – including the hot summer heat. BelFlex has initiated creative ways to promote heat safety and keep our employees cool throughout the season including:
- Cold treats – Everyone loves a cold treat in the summertime! Fill styrofoam coolers with delicious popsicles and energy ice pops. You can even rent out Kona Ice Trucks to show appreciation and provide something special for your dedicated team.
- Large fans – Strategically place large fans around the warehouse to keep the air flow consistent. Areas with a lot of workers or big machinery typically need these fans the most!
- Cooling accessories – Stock up on cooling headbands and bandanas or personal neck fans so employees can stay cool on the job.
While company-wide initiatives are great at helping the team keep cool, it is also important for employees to practice the simple, yet potentially life-saving ways to promote heat safety while working in a warehouse.
Remember these summer safety tips to help yourself (and others) stay cool:
- Stay hydrated – Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink! Experts recommend drinking two to four glasses of water every hour to stay hydrated while working in high temperatures. Heavy sweating removes the salt and minerals from your body, so you should consider bringing a sports drink to work to replenish your electrolytes.
- Utilize a work/rest cycle – Talk to your employer about implementing frequent breaks in air conditioned areas. Consider modifying your work schedule to complete the most strenuous work before 11 am or after 4 pm. This is when the heat is the least intense.
- Wear lightweight clothing – breathable, loose-fitting clothes will help you keep cool.
- Use a damp rag – If you feel yourself overheating, use a damp rag to wipe your face or place on your neck.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages – tea, coffee, energy drinks and caffeinated soft drinks can contribute to dehydration.
Tip: Use the buddy system! Monitor yourself and others for symptoms of a heat-related illness.
Stay alert for the following warning signs:
- Heat cramps – muscle cramps, pain, spasms in the arms, legs or abdomen
- Heat exhaustion – heavy sweating, extreme weakness or fatigue, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, fast and shallow breathing, irritability, slightly elevated body temperature and nausea or vomiting
- Heatstroke – elevated body temperature, loss of condition, throbbing, headache, seizures, coma, and hot, dry or profuse sweating
Important! If a worker does not seem alert or seems confused, call 911 immediately for help.
By being aware of the warning signs of a heat-related illness and taking the necessary precautions, employees can work safely through the summer. Remain hydrated, stay alert and watch out for one another!
Looking for warehouse work? Register with BelFlex to get started!