Temperatures Are Climbing, Are you Rising to the Challenge? – 8 Ways to Protect Employees at Work and Home from the Heat
A deadly heatwave stretching across the entire Southwest has brought with it record-breaking numbers.
Temperatures climbed to the top of charts on the last day of spring:
- Phoenix, AZ – 118 degrees
- Tucson, AZ – 115 degrees
- Flagstaff, AZ – 93 degrees
- Yuma, AZ – 120 degrees (the city’s fourth hottest day on record)
- San Bernardino, CA – 113 degrees
- Burbank, CA – 109 degrees
- Indio, CA – 120 degrees
The Arizona Republic reported the heat claimed at least four lives on hiking trails in and around Phoenix and Tucson. Weather forecasters predicted little relief in the upcoming days. Those living in high-heat areas must take precautionary measures and stay prepared during the summer months.
Adapting to Climate
Many factors influence weather: La Niña, El Niño, the Jet Stream, cyclic warming and cooling trends, major volcanic eruptions and the impact of mankind. Regardless of the cause, it is hot in many areas of the U.S. Many cultures shift daytime activities to the evening and night to avoid the heat of midday. The Spanish tradition of “siesta” and similar practices in other Mediterranean cultures are well known examples of man’s accommodation of nature.
Regions that do not typically endure extremes of heat often do not adjust well to high temperatures. You can reduce the risk of heat injury by avoiding strenuous outdoor activities, increasing awareness of the danger and taking simple preventive measures.
Firestorm President and COO, Jim Satterfield, always says “Family trumps job.” Therefore, plan at home so you are prepared at work. Train and educate employees how to stay safe (at home and work) during times of high heat.
Tips to Keep Cool in a Heat Wave
- Wear loose fitting, lighter colored clothing.
- If you don’t have air-conditioning, arrange to spend at least parts of the day in an air-conditioned environment: a shopping mall, public libraries, museums, movie theatres, mass transit or other public spaces that are cool.
- Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick refreshing spray to your face after being outdoors.
- Drink plenty of water along with sports drinks or other sources of electrolytes. Avoid drinks containing alcohol, caffeine, or a lot of sugar, as these can accelerate dehydration.
- Remember that the elderly, infants and those with chronic illnesses can dehydrate more easily and are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Observe for signs of heat-related illness such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting and lack of perspiration in hot environments. If you suspect heat injury, seek medical help immediately.
- Watch infants for signs of heat-related illness such as not producing tears when crying or fewer diaper changes.
- Pets also need protection from dehydration and heat-related illnesses. Give them plenty of water.
- Find a list of Cooling Centers in your area. Find sources here.
What’s your best tip for keeping cool?