Hot sunny weather may be perfect for an outing with family and friends but without precautions it can turn deadly for people who work outside.
As the environment warms-up, the body tends to warm-up as well. The body’s internal “thermostat” maintains a constant temperature by pumping more blood to the skin and increases production of sweat to reduce your internal temperature. In a very hot environment, the rate of “heat gain” is more than the rate of “heat loss” and the body temperature begins to rise; when this happens the heart rate increases as well. This will lead an individual to suffer symptoms such as loss of concentration, acting irritable, and losing the desire to drink which can exacerbate the situation and result in fainting or in extreme cases, death.
Every year, California reports cases of workers taking ill from occupational heat exposure and some resulted in fatalities.
During the summers of 2017 and 2018, seven individuals died due to heat related issues. One case involved a mailman from Woodland Hills who died due to heat illness. Another case involving a man from Ontario died from simply mowing his lawn. The heat can be dangerous for anyone, no one is safe unless preventable measures are taken.
Here at EarthWise Hauling, we provide our team with unlimited supply of water and other thirst quenching beverages. This helps our field techs stay safe while hauling debris all over sunny Southern California. Other employers can avoid such unfortunate circumstances by making sure employees take multiple rests throughout the day. Water is vital to stay safe and should be accessible at all times. Employees should also be given an opportunity to build up a level of tolerance to working in the heat. These precautions should be included in a readily accessible handbook so everyone is educated and prepared to combat the dangers of heat exposure. Always plan for an emergency. Watch out for symptoms and remember, as the body keeps storing heat it can lead to fainting and/or death if not cooled down.
Stay cool! California weather is beautiful but deadly.